We Apologize Rory McIlroy…We Were Wrong About You

Posted: June 19, 2011 by mceagle611 in Sports
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Courtesy of bleacherreport.com

Some called it spectacular, others called it lucky; people are calling it triumphant, and it may as well be the start of something surreal. Nobody would deny that this weekend was anything short of exceptional at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Maryland – and that is even a bit of an understatement. For a brief time in golf the roars of the gallery were not those for Tiger Woods, possibly the greatest golfer to roam the Earth, but they were for up and coming golfer Rory McIlroy. Surprised to say the least, I was waiting his McIlroy’s whole round sunday for him to screw up, to double a hole on the front nine, and basically waiting to see if he had what it takes to rebound from a tough hole.

I really do not want to take anything away from McIlroy’s performance, I mean it was the second best in US Open history to Tiger Wood’s tournament in 2000 at Pebble Beach. Graeme McDowell praised highly of him, saying he was ‘the best golfer he has ever seen.’ You see the Irish-Native did something that a little more than skill, he put together a round that fellow-countrymen Padriag Harrington describes as ‘just playing golf.’ Let’s face it, not everyone can be solid when way ahead of the field, and after his Master’s performance people were afraid that may be the case – myself included. However, not that he has created the buzz of the Golf World by destroying the Congressional Course and setting the record for the lowest score record of all-time in a US Open…impressive stuff.

Although, even though Rory showed us that he can perform on the biggest stages, I will honestly not be convinced that this kid is the next prodigy until he wins a tournament with Tiger Woods right there. This may have been the most unsaid fact throughout the Masters at Augusta National but I have been thinking it ever since the meltdown during McIlroy’s back-nine; his downward spiral started on the tenth hole, and when did he learn that Tiger was jolting up the leaderboard? On the ninth green when I’m sure he glanced at the leaderboard. So maybe the intimidation of seeing the name ‘Tiger Woods’ right below his combined with the roars from 4 or so holes ahead of him made it difficult to close the deal.

This is why I am indifferent about his performance today because he defeated the likes of Y.E. Yang, Louis Oosthuizen, and Charl Schwartzel, whom are past major winner…containing only one major. So since McIlroy was playing his best golf, they didn’t present much of a challenge. Even Lee Westwood, number two golfer in the world, who was in contention if McIlroy fell apart did not show signs of a golfer worthy of the number two position; so McIlroy did not have riding his back at any point during his round as he cruise to an eight stroke victory.

I really want to see if this kid can live up to the hype he has been given now. McIlroy needs to keep playing like a veteran, but as far as comparing him to Tiger Woods – I don’t think he’s even close yet. Woods had 5 majors by the time he was 25-years of age; and granted McIlroy is still 22-years-old. However, the kicker is that Tiger had the only Tiger-slam – a feat in which one player holds all Major Championship titles at the same time – in 2001 and won the 1997 Masters with a record-low score, a record margin of victory, and he became the youngest golfer to win the Masters in history. Readers, the facts make it way to hard for me to give McIlroy credit for winning one major and setting one record when Tiger has practically written the record books.

So Rory, one hell of a win you just had, you didn’t crack when we thought you would…but you aren’t even close to Tiger or Jack right now – it’s just the reality of the situation.

  1. Chris Ross says:

    Reall nice post. I wasn’t too sure of how Rory would respond after his Masters performance either. I believed that he might be another Sergio Garcia and that golf would have to wait even longer for another star to arrive. I guess not. McIlroy is a class act and has the kind of talent that has almost no ceiling to it. The sky is the limit for this guy and it couldn’t happen to a better person. He reacted so well to the situation after the Masters and was a good guy all the way despite the blow out win this weekend. It should to be fun to see this kid perform for the next decade. Let’s hope for the sake of golf that he continues it. Also, you think you could check out my blog cuz I’d love to hear what you have to say http://chrisross91.wordpress.com/2011/06/19/just-what-the-doctor-ordered/

    • mceagle611 says:

      I’ll take a look at it and thanks for the comment. Rory did put four great days of golf together, in fact after 3 rounds nearly bogey-free. In a US Open that is an incredible accomplishment, and something that Tiger Woods would struggle to do; but it seems like whenever he is playing his best golf if he isn’t way ahead of the field he finds a way to be there in the end. I want to see Rory respond to adversity during a tournament before I can say that he is the real deal. I think they may be giving him too much credit too early on. We’ll see.

  2. Macy Puppa says:

    There is one arena where Rory has far surpassed Tiger, and that is in the arena of public perception. I have never seen Tiger act as a diplomat for the game of golf — however, we saw Rory do just that when he went to Haiti a few weeks back. I have never seen Tiger act as a diplomat when he failed to hold a lead in a golf tournament–however, we saw Rory act like someone twice his age when he had to answer all of the tough questions following his collapse on the final day at Augusta. Give Rory props for being a good person and keeping golf in the proper perspective. It is, after all, just a game. Rory seems to know this. I’m not so sure about Tiger.

    • mceagle611 says:

      yeah, we’ve talked about this. He is going to give off a more positive vibe because of the activities he has so far taken place in, through charity work. Tiger has his own foundation, yet something is more to be said about giving your time and not just your money

  3. […] (Topic) : The Future of Golf – Now that Rory McIlroy has been crowned US Open Champion comparisons are started to be made between McIlroy and Tiger Woods. The Buzz is that McIlroy has now […]

  4. […] his second round at the par-4 8th hole on his approach shot. Reading the green like a picture book, McIlroy put his ball in the exact spot it needed to be in as it rolled back – from the back-left […]

  5. brian says:

    Rory responded to his Masters adversity in the very next major. That might be more impressive. everybody was waiting to see if he’d crack again and he obviously didn’t. He also had a helluva weekend last year to win his first PGA event. He doesn’t have to be a Nicklaus or a Woods to have a stellar career. At this point he compares favouribly with Watson or Player. If he can win 8 or 10 majors and regularly on the Euro tour, he’ll be worth watching. Anyway, he hung in there at last years PGA and now has finished 3rd or better 4 times in majors and obviously also had 3 good rounds at Augusta and he’s only 22. When Woods was 22 he had a first and a third in the majors, Nicklaus had a 1st, 2nd and 3rd. I think maybe only Gene Sarazen accomplished more at 22 than Rory has, I think he had 3 wins by 22 which must have turned a few heads. While everybody was waiting for the prodigy Bobby Jones to mature suddenly out of nowhere Sarazen seemed like the “kid” to watch.
    I disagree with your assessment about him falling apart because Woods had a strong front nine at Augusta. Rory was a little off his game from the first hole. I felt he was struggling to keep it together with or without Woods. I think Woods is given way too much credit for being a presence on the leaderboard. He has never come from behind successfully in a major. Not once! That’s not really very intimidating and it’s something the other players are definitely aware of. At no point did I think Woods would win the Masters. I thought the same thing would happen as happened a couple of years ago (last year?) when him and Mickelson charged up the leaderboard. Woods faltered coming in. Albeit, before he faltered last year, I thought he might finally have a come-from-behind victory but never did I think that this year.
    There were about 8 golfers who had a legitimate chance this year and Rory had too many holes left and a shaky enough game to worry about what Woods was doing. There were too many guys who started the day ahead of Woods playing good golf for Rory to single him out as a threat. It was more reminiscent of Harrington catching Garcia a couple of years ago to win the Open Championship. It just seemed that everybody except the leader was playing well.

    • mceagle611 says:

      Impressive. In response to your disagreement, I would say that it is not completely all to Wood’s strong front nine, however he was hanging around the leaderboard (actually atop it at -10 or -11) and then he cracked on 10. I think that there is no good way to predict this early, just like you alluded to with Bobby Jones, in someones career if they will be an all-time great or not. Even after Tiger won that Master’s by a helluva lot, nobody really knew if that was a fluke or just the start of something surreal..kinda the same case with McIlroy here. I mean am I wrong? We really just can’t sit here and guess because nobody knows the true answer to if this kid is going to truly be great or not.

  6. brian says:

    By the way, when I say he’s given too much credit for being a presence I mean when he is chasing. Obviously Woods knows how to hold a lead. I don’t think there has been a better front runner in any sport. What Yang did was monumental and fun to watch.

  7. […] top-3 never had a shot this weekend of winning it; it is a shame to say the least. Now do all you McIlroy believers think that Rory is already better than Tiger and […]

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