Data Reveals McIlroy’s Insane Heart Rate After Iconic Masters Bunker Shot

Rory McIlroy produced a moment of Masters history and he certainly felt it!

Rory McIlroy celebrates after bunker shot at Augusta National
(Image credit: Getty Images)

WHOOP are a wearable technology company that help athletes, and those searching for peak physical performance, measure strain, recovery and sleep. They are worn by athletes across the NBA, Major League Baseball, the LPGA and the PGA Tour - including Rory McIlroy.

The Northern Irishman could be seen wearing the WHOOP wristband throughout his final round heroics at Augusta National, which saw him hole a bunker shot on the 72nd hole to equal to lowest final round score in Masters history and his best finish at Augusta National so far. Throughout the day, McIlroy made six-birdies and an eagle after starting the day 10 shots adrift of eventual winner, Scottie Scheffler. 

With the 32-year old wearing the WHOOP wristband (pictured below), we're able to tap in to exactly how he was geared up for success. 

Rory McIlroy smiles whilst wearing WHOOP wristband

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The night before his final round heroics, McIlroy spent 51 minutes longer in bed than his 30-day baseline. This resulted in 8 hours and 54 minutes compared to 7 hours and 33 minutes. His resting heart rate dropped 2 beats per minute (bpm) below the baseline; measuring 49 bpm vs 51 bpm.

Throughout his sleep, rapid eye movement (REM) increased from 26% to 29%; meaning brain activity was closer to the levels of awakeness. That is why it's most likely to encounter dreams during high-levels of REM - perhaps dreaming of what was to follow on Sunday afternoon.

Individually these statistics give valuable insight into the human body but collectively is where it perhaps adds to most value. WHOOP's analysis shows that the 32-year old's sleep performance was 9% higher than his 30-day baseline with a 73% recovery score. The higher the recovery score, the more strain the body is able to take and with an increased sleep performance, it made for the perfect recipe for success in that final round.

McIlroy continued to wear the WHOOP wristband during the round and when his bunker shot found the bottom of the hole on the 18th green, his heart rate shot up to an astounding 143 bpm. Keep in mind, a 'normal' resting heart rate for adults ranges from 60 to 100 bpm. Generally, a lower heart rate implies more efficient heart function and a better cardiovascular fitness and it is not uncommon for a well-trained athlete, such as the Northern Irishman, to have a resting heart rate lower than 60 bpm. The short revelation, when the celebrations ensued after that bunker shot, McIlroy was pumped!

McIlroy's Key Whoop Statistics

The night before the final round:

  • 51 minutes more time in bed than his 30-day baseline (8 hours and 54 minutes compared to 7 hours and 33 minutes)
  • Resting heart rate 2 bpm below baseline (49 bpm vs 51 bpm)
  • 3% more REM sleep than 30-day baseline (29% compared to 26%)
  • Sleep performance was 9% higher than his 30 day baseline
  • 73% overall recovery score as a result

That magical bunker shot on the 18th green:

  • Heart rate jumped up to 143 bpm on his iconic final bunker shot

Scottie Scheffler celebrates after becoming the Masters champion. He can also be seen wearing the WHOOP bicep band

(Image credit: Getty Images)

McIlroy is one of many PGA Tour players using WHOOP wearable technology and their analysis. Masters champion, Scottie Scheffler (pictured above), could be seen wearing the bicep band when he raised his arms in celebration after the realisation of becoming a Major champion set in.

Interested In Whoop?

If WHOOP is something that you might be interested in, see what we thought when we tried it for six months. We also spoke to the entrepreneur responsible for its meteoric rise in popularity, Will Ahmed. 

Rory McIlroy has been the focus of a study before, alongside fellow-Major champion, Justin Thomas. We revealed the incredible insight into their performances toward the end of last year.

James Hibbitt
James Hibbitt

James joined Golf Monthly having previously written for other digital outlets. He is obsessed with all areas of the game – from tournament golf, to history, equipment, technique and travel. He is also an avid collector of memorabilia; with items from the likes of Bobby Jones, Tiger Woods, Francis Ouimet, Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino, Adam Scott and Ernie Els. As well as writing for Golf Monthly, James’ golfing highlight is fist bumping Phil Mickelson on his way to winning the Open Championship at Muirfield in 2013. James grew up on the east coast of England and is the third generation of his golfing family. He now resides in Leeds and is a member of Cobble Hall Golf Club with a handicap index of 1.7. His favourite films are The Legend of Bagger Vance and Tin Cup.