Good news, Rory McIlroy: You are not the king of back-door top-10 finishes on the PGA Tour.
The two-time major winner said in Charlotte he wants to contend more often instead of backing into top-10 finishes and making good checks without ever really being in the mix to win.
Luke Donald is the poster child for the back-door top 10. When Donald was making his run toward No. 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking, a lot people noticed Donald racked up lots of world-ranking points and money with a good final round to land a top-10 finish. However, his form has slipped in the last couple of years, meaning he's no longer the king of the backing into six-figure sums of money.
Before we reveal the new Baron of the Back-Door Top-10 Finish, let's first define what a back-door top-10 finish is. It's pretty subjective, but the basic definition is when a player who is nowhere near contending to win the tournament on Sunday posting a solid final round to wind up in the top 10. They were never among the names teased to win in the final round.
That definition deserves some caveats:
Yes, you could back-door into a win, coming from way back with a dynamite final round.
It should also be considered a back-door top-10 finish if a player is in contention after Rounds 1 and/or 2, then blows up in the next round, only to recover on Sunday for a top-10 finish.
With that rubric in hand, we took a look at the players with the most top-10 finishes on the PGA Tour since the start of the 2012 season. Turns out that 258 players have logged at least one top 10 in the last two-and-a-half years. Of that 258, 40 have posted at least 10 top-10 finishes.
Starting at the top with Matt Kuchar, who has an astounding 25 top-10 finishes on the PGA Tour in that stretch, we judged the top-10 efforts and deemed them back-door or not. Kuchar had six of them, which seems like a lot, but accounts for a mere 24 percent of his top-10 checks.
As it turns out, the new king of the back-door top-10 finish is Justin Rose, who boasts eight of them out of the 19 he's had since 2012. That's not only the most in terms of quantity, but also the highest percentage of top-1o finishes among players with more than 10 top-10 finishes in our measurement period. In terms of percentage, Charles Howell III, Graham DeLaet and Matt Every are just behind Rose.
Here's a look at the full list.
|Charles Howell III||12||5||41.7%|
|Bo Van Pelt||11||3||27.3%|