Thursday 19 October 2017

Who holds the upper hand when Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth are paired together?

Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth
Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth

Phil Casey

Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth will contest the first two rounds of the US PGA Championship together at Whistling Straits.

Here, we look at the previous times the world's top two players have found themselves in the same group, with McIlroy holding the upper hand:

PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP, May 7-8, 2015

Much was made of a possible "rivalry" between the pair following Spieth's first major victory in the Masters a month earlier, but their meeting at Sawgrass turned into something of a damp squib. Spieth missed the halfway cut following rounds of 75 and 72, with McIlroy shooting 69 and 71 on his way to a top-10 finish.

 

OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP, July 17-18, 2014

Spieth at least made the cut at Hoylake with rounds of 71 and 75 - but was an incredible 14 shots adrift of McIlroy, who shot 66 on Thursday and Friday to take command of the tournament on his way to a first Open title.

 

MASTERS, April 10-11, 2014

Both players carded opening rounds of 71 to lie just three shots off the lead, but while Spieth remained in contention with a 70 on Friday, McIlroy shot 77 to make the cut on the mark of four over and, to make matters worse, was then outscored by his marker - Augusta member Jeff Knox - on Saturday.

 

VALERO TEXAS OPEN, April 4-5, 2013

Just months into his professional career, Spieth shot 71 to McIlroy's 72 in the first round, but could only manage a 76 in the second round to miss the cut, while McIlroy shot 67 and would only be denied victory two days later by a closing 63 from Scotland's Martin Laird.

 

Lowest score: McIlroy 5, Spieth 2, Tie 1

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