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Can Rory steal Tiger's roar?

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Iain Carter | 09:03 UK time, Monday, 20 June 2011

By the end, we had run out of superlatives. It turned out to be a four-day hyperbole fest as we sought words to describe Rory McIlroy's record-breaking achievements at Congressional Country Club.

With every "sensational", "extraordinary" and "astonishing" that passed our lips, we witnessed a young golfer taking massive strides to fill the void that has existed at the top of the game of golf.

No-one had come close to occupying such elevated territory, for a long period the domain of Tiger Woods, until McIlroy's amazing US Open victory on Sunday.

But, while the Northern Irishman's golf was of the calibre of Woods in his prime, it would be wholly wrong to think of McIlroy as the next "Tiger".

The new champion is nothing of the sort.

Comparisons have inevitably been made between the two men because of the manner of McIlroy's triumph in the second major of the year.

The record score that gave him victory bears comparison with the way Woods annihilated the field at the 2000 US Open. The American won by 15 shots at Pebble Beach to claim his third major victory.

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From the moment McIlroy followed his opening 65 - his lowest round compiled in the toughest conditions of the week at Congressional - with a 66 to take a six-shot lead into the weekend, we knew we were witnessing something very special.

Indeed, the comparisons with Woods and his triumph at Pebble Beach were inevitable as soon as McIlroy posted that record-breaking halfway tally of 131. The boundless potential that had long since been recognised was now being realised.

Furthermore, it was being achieved with humility, charisma and charm, qualities emphasised by his dignified response to his Masters meltdown in the final round at Augusta after leading the first major of the year by four shots after 54 holes.

Everyone loves McIlroy - at least it seems that way. His appeal is global. Have we ever heard American crowds chant the name of an overseas challenger in the way that the galleries in Washington did over the final 36 holes?

This was an unprecedented outpouring of adulation for a foreigner they regard as one of their own. Why? Because their previous hero has fallen from his pedestal and there is no-one in the American game to take the place of Woods at the moment.

Of course, Phil Mickelson remains as popular as ever but there is little sign that he can quench the thirst for success demanded by US golf fans. America has now gone five majors without being able to celebrate a home win.

So who better to fill the current void than a fresh-faced youngster who readily smiles his way around the course, engages with supporters and speaks with honesty and élan when a microphone is thrust in his direction?

Oh, and it turns out that his golf is brilliant, too. And how we all love a winner.

How much American golf fans will see of him in the coming months is not certain, though. Having resigned PGA Tour membership this year, McIlroy is not expected to be a regular participant on the US circuit, although tournament organisers are sure to be throwing plenty of invites his way. Potentially, there are far-reaching implications as every promoter scrambles for his signature.

As a side issue, what chance of him competing at the Players' Championship next May? Skipping it this year clearly helped him stay fresh for the US Open. Could it be that the so called "fifth major" is without the game's newest and brightest star?

McIlroy's popularity spans the world. In Dubai, skyscraper hotels have been illuminated with his image during his US Open odyssey. Elsewhere in Asia, crowds flock to see him play. Then there is his home territory in Europe.

He will require extraordinary levels of management with all that awaits in the wake of this stunning victory.

McIlroy is famously level-headed, the son of hard-working parents who devoted their lives to developing his golfing career. Now he is a global superstar, although he will still look for a quiet - and sometimes not so quiet - pint with his mates in Belfast as well as a ticket to watch his beloved Ulster play rugby.

Without that side to his life, could he function as well as he does as a top golfer?

Despite his astonishing performance at such a tender age, I doubt whether McIlroy will surpass the golfing achievements of Woods. The 14-time major champion was a relentless winning machine. In contrast, the man from Holywood has different qualities and it is worth remembering that this US Open victory is only the third professional win.

In any case, we should not be putting pressure on him to overtake the landmarks of Woods or, for that matter, Jack Nicklaus, who tops the tree with his record haul of 18 majors.

Maybe a decade down the line McIlroy will have a cabinet full of major trophies. If that happens, then we can start thinking about him eclipsing Woods and Nicklaus. Right now, we should just delight in the manner of his win in the US Open win.

McIlroy has also risen to fourth in the world rankings. Luke Donald, Lee Westwood and Martin Kaymer sit above him but they already know they have been overtaken.

When the world's best assemble for the next major, the Open at Sandwich in mid-July, it will be McIlroy who will be the main attraction - and that will be the case even if Woods returns from his latest injury setback.

It is hard not to get carried away by what we have witnessed over the last few days. On BBC Radio 5 live, expert summariser Jay Townsend called it the "greatest major championship performance we have ever seen". He might be right. He might be wrong. Still, it is a mighty fine debate.

The one thing I am sure of is that McIlroy is not the next Tiger. He is Rory McIlroy, the record-breaking US Open champion, a global superstar and just what golf needs.


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  • Comment number 1.

    Well done Rory. I think this has not taken all pressure off him to go on and become the golfer he can be. He is the best player in the world right now technically and has been I think for the last year or so but the mental side kept him back.

    Now with the pressure of winning a major is off his shoulders he can go into the Open and play the way he can. I think he will win one of the next 2 majors and finish the year world no.1.

    As for Westwood, he is technically one of the best but mentally he is not strong enough to win a major. He seems to play his way out of a major early on and then have great rounds when its too late. Then when he had a chance of mounting a run at Rory he dunks it into water. Sorry to say but I think ever see him winning a major.

  • Comment number 2.

    As long as Rory doesn't read the press and start to believe his own hype then he'll be fine. And as long as he has the steadying influence of his parents around as well, he'll be fine. Tiger started going off the rails probably around the time his dad died and his personal life hasn't quite recovered from that. Unfortunately it started to affect his golf as well, and I'm not sure we'll see Tiger back to his best, for that reason and also because of his destructive's killing his body. Rory hasn't got that problem, as far as I can see, his swing is balanced and powerful without putting so much stress through his knees. As long as he has a good coach that can keep him on top of the swing then he'll do well.

    There are other players emerging too who will have a great future, and will make golf such an exciting game to watch over the next ten to twenty years. Jason Day showed just how good he can be over the weekend, and if he can add consistency to his game then Rory will have a serious challenge to stay ahead of him.

    I remember when we were all hyping up Justin Rose before he turned pro, when he finished fourth in the Open. Unfortunately since then, Justin hasn't quite lived up to the hype. I hope that this time the press won't go gung-ho (although it seems they already have) and proclaim Rory as the great future of golf, and the next Tiger...he's not the next anything, he's Rory McIlroy, and he's going to have a stunning career, but he needs to do it without the press hounding him if he has a bad day at the office.

  • Comment number 3.

    Is it not great to see a fresh faced youngster enjoying his profession?

    All the other pro's should take a leaf out of Rory's book and start to enjoy the game more instead of being the robots they currently look like.
    Rory's win is the result of hard work, after the calamity at Augusta, and a change in attitude towards the game, he did not go away and sulk. He climbed straight back in , forgot about the past and worked even harder to achieve an astonishing win.

  • Comment number 4.

    I dont think u can compare a 16 year old amature Justin Rose with Rory McIlroy who has already won a major and 2 other large events.

    Rory is very grounded and will have an amazing career...saying he is the next Tiger is just crazy talk by the press...who knows he might eclipse Tiger but as Chizzle said...he Rory McIlroy and he will do it his way.
    Players feared Tiger...they were afraid to approach him or talk to him and none made friends with him...Rory couldnt be more different...he talks to everyone and I dont think players will ever fear him like they did Tiger...but they will respect him more as a person then they ever did Tiger.

    Jason Day is amazing as well...seems like he raises his game every major event. Thats a long term rivalary right there in the making!

  • Comment number 5.

    Is this the same Rory McIlroy whose ball flight was described as too high by Ewen Murray and whose putting stroke was derided by Mark Roe?
    Well done kid, you've put these two charlatans in their place.

  • Comment number 6.

    You must be joking! He's not fit to be mentioned in the same breath as Tiger!

  • Comment number 7.

    Fantastic victory for Mcilroy yesterday, throughly deserved and it looks like there will be a few more of them throughout his carear.

    Will he be a multiple major winner? Yes. Will he overhaul Nick Faldos record of six majors? You would think he will be there abouts. I don't think he will get near Woods/Nicklaus but considering hes only 22 and has atleast another 25 years at the top of his game can you can't totaly dismiss the possibility.

    People are getting a bit carried away with the Mcilroy 11 & Woods 00 comparrison. You can't compare the two, Congressional was so unbelievabley soft and there to be taken apart, which Mcilroy did. Pebble Beach on the other hand, the weather was attrocious and scoring was nigh on impossible, yet Tiger found a way. In my opinion -12 at a stormy Pebble Beach tops -16 at flat calm, soft Congressional.

    But, its important not to dwell on the Tiger comparrisons for to long, because as Iain put well in the blog; "he is not the next Tiger, he is Rory Mcilroy" and it's going to be really interesting following his progress for the next twenty-five years.

  • Comment number 8.

    Earlier comments on Hodgetts' blog regarding Tony Jacklin still apply here.

    Let's celebrate Rory's achievements rather than artificially create expectations that are way premature. Please!

  • Comment number 9.

    Exactly. Lets sit back and enjoy his journey.
    He is by far the greatest talent out there right now but talent without work and dedication is nothing!

  • Comment number 10.

    Im glad for the most part people are being sensible and not claiming Rory is the new Tiger, or any one else for that matter. He is a very talented young man who we all hope will win many more majors. I dont think he will supass Tiger or big Jack, but he could be up there with Faldo and Seve etc which is no mean feat.
    I do find it sad to read so many people writing off the likes of Westwood and Rose, who have plenty of years left, Westwood in particular has been close and I for one think he will manage one or two, just as Harrington did. The list of major winners is littered with lesser players than he.

  • Comment number 11.

    Really enjoyed watching the golf over the last few days. I do have to agree with post 1, my friend and I had exactly the same conversation about Lee Westwood last night. For all the talk of him being there or thereabouts on the final day, he's never actually looked like he's going to win one. Hopefully I'll be proved wrong.

    Whilst watching Rory and thinking about how young he still is it brought into focus the troubles of Sergio Garcia. I found it quite sad to watch to watch somebody, who in the past had been so excited and exciting to watch, look so unhappy. Lets hope this good week may turn things around for him and he may actually start enjoying it again. But with putting like his...

  • Comment number 12.

    Westwood 100% has the game to win 3 or 4 majors but so did Monty but as he approaches 40 years old I wonder how many more years he has left at the top of the game. Considering the younger generation are piling on the pressure and have already started winning majors.
    He seems to be made of the same stuff Monty was made of..which is fantastic stuff but it lacks big event mentalality.

  • Comment number 13.

    I wish him luck but I hope he has grown up a little from the time he was forever saying "All we ever hear about is Tiger Woods" Now all we ever hear about is Rory Mcilroy, I bet that is all he ever wants to hear about. Let us hope he can thrill and entertain us as much as (he who must not be named) you know who.

  • Comment number 14.

    No, no, no! This has nothing to do with Americans cheering Rory because we have no Americans to cheer for. It's because Rory is a great guy and a deserving winner. He's someone you'd be proud to have as a son, a brother, or someone to share z pint with. He shows respect for the elders of golf and they (eg Nicklaus) return it. This isn't the Ryder Cup. It was the US Open but most importanly it was open. No sir, Americans cheered Rory because he deserves it.

  • Comment number 15.

    McIlroy won this tournament, clearly. Mickelson cleary won Augusta last year. Why are comments using what we saw over the weekend to say Westwood doesnt have it in him?

  • Comment number 16.

    "McIlroy has also risen to fourth in the world rankings. Luke Donald, Lee Westwood and Martin Kaymer sit above him but they already know they have been overtaken."

    Huh? What does that mean?? Overtaken in what sense? Not in a ranking sense obviously. Do you mean that they know he's better than them? If so then that's a ludicrous thing to say. Rory is clearly a brilliant, brilliant player but so are the other three and the form that Donald and Westwood have been in prior to last week (and let's not forget Westwood had another top 3 finish in a major) means I'm pretty sure they don't think that at all.

    "It is hard not to get carried away " you say - well for most of the article you didn't but you managed it in the end.

  • Comment number 17.

    A superb win . Whatever happens, he has got 'major winner' after his name. And Westwood/Donald/Monty will tell you that takes some doing.

  • Comment number 18.

    I think the trip to HAITI with UNICEF was really well timed and a great humbling experience for him . While he is battling for a major you have people battling for their very existence. I think this experience really helped his attitude on the course and his demeanour .
    He played like someone who enjoyed what he was doing , appreciated what he was doing and was grateful to have the opportunity . Seems like a decent young man .

  • Comment number 19.

    Leaving aside the fact that, yes, Rory Mcilroy will be retiring with at least a handful of Majors to his name, why use it as a stick to beat Lee Westwood with !? I've said it before and I'll say it again TOO MUCH is made of winning a Major. What takes more talent ... winning EIGHT European Orders of Merit or winning ONE major ? Montgomerie achieved the former. Todd Hamilton etc etc acheived the second. And as Monty himself said recently, his greatest regret is not reaching World Number One, rather than not winning a Major. Westwood has been No 1 and I suspect will return there for a 3rd time at some point this year. I would agree though that Westwood perhaps only has 3 or 4 years to achieve that goal - though Mark O'Meara was 41 when he won his First (and second). No, to me - Major or not - Lee Westwood will be considered one of the top 5 or 6 golfers Europe has ever produced - along with Rory of course in a couple of years. It's worth contemplating that despite all of the plaudits Rory might MIGHT never win another. A golfer's career should only really be considered after retirement.

  • Comment number 20.

    Everyone else had to raise their game to catch Tiger when he burst onto the scene. Now Rory has raised the bar again. I think he's starting to focus mainly on winning majors, and his whole year revolves around them, so I can see him winning quite a few more. Whether he can catch Tiger or Jack, who knows, but this is a great start.

  • Comment number 21.

    Goodbye Tiger Woods and Hello Rory McIlroy!! what a great way to start winning majors it was just brilliant and just what golf needs right now, a new hero! Its also fantastic to see a European in each of the top 4 spots in the rankings and close enough to battle it out for top spot all year long. Europe is on top and in good shape to stay there for a long time to come! Well done Rory.

  • Comment number 22.

    Onelegshorter is a dead give away to those in the know that I am a member of Holywood Golf Club. At Holywood, we have known for close to 20 years now that Rory has had the potential to reach the top of the golfing world and you can be sure we are all delighted that, yesterday he fulfilled his (and our) dream winning his first major golf championship.
    I don't go for all the nonsense written, about comparisons with Tiger, Jack, and all of the others. I also don’t agree with the constant analysis of his personality and background. Attributing to Rory and anyone else the degree of hyperbole that is given to successful sportspeople and entertainers is counter-productive and terribly unfair, particularly for a 22 year old. My last disagreement is with those who criticise the players who have not won a major yet, identifying some complicated psychological weakness. Any of the top English golfers can and will win if the putts drop for them at the right time. That’s how players such as Ben Curtis, Paul Lawrie, Todd Hamilton, Rich Beem, Shaun Micheel (need I go on) have won majors..
    I watched the last four days with a mixture of delight and anxiety. Rory is an ordinary young man with a wonderful golf talent whose parents provided him with a range of skills and tools to go out into the world of professional golf and conduct himself appropriately. This week tells us that Rory is an extremely determined person, who learned enough from his previous experiences in majors over the last year or two, such that he was able to play his game this weekend when he wanted to. We also learned that his attitude and behavior is as impressive when he is a winner as it was when he was a gracious loser at Augusta. For that Gerry and Rosie should be extremely proud. Indeed everyone at Holywood is delighted with our little share in his success in Washington.
    The victory in the U.S. Open provides Rory with confidence, that he has the skills to play and compete with all the best golfers and challenge for more majors. At Holywood we were just anxious that perhaps such things only happened to someone else. Now we hope he gets many more opportunities through good health and hard work to keep challenging for championships for as long as possible in his career. Well done Rory.

  • Comment number 23.

    Well done Rory a fantastic performance the brightest golf talent since the late unsurpassable Seve. He could become Europe's biggest collector of majors? What is really exciting is the sheer talent in Europe right now and with the likes of Matteo Manassero waiting in the wings it's looking great for Europe. In contrast it's looking grim for the USA just recall the crowds cheering Garrigus, did well but no where near winning the galleries seemed were desperate for some home comfort. The message from Europe, Africa and Australasia is simple get used to it. Perhaps The Ryder Cup should be Europe v The Americas?

  • Comment number 24.

    Let's face it America love him because he's Irish and to them that's almost as good as being American. A lot of Americans like to think that having some distant Irish relation makes them Irish- just look at the way they celebrate St Patrick's day and how Obama used his recent visit to Ireland to emphasise his Irish roots and therefore boost his chances of re-election.

    I bet most of them don't even know Northern Ireland is part of Britain.

  • Comment number 25.

    One leg shorter - it did amuse me when one of the commentators mentioned how difficult an upcoming shot for Rory was going to be because the ball was so far above his feet. If only they knew!! Standard day at the Holywood office.

  • Comment number 26.

    have to laugh at the posters who whine along the lines of: 'let's not inflate expectations, let's enjoy the moment'. Half of the joy of Rory winning in such grand style is to speculate on how good he might actually become.

  • Comment number 27.

    Watching some of the adverts during the US Open coverage it seems with the latest clubs and golf balls it's impossible to miss fairways and not hit 300 yards. In reality, it was Rory's iron play to the hole that elevated his play above his peers. It stands to be seen though if he can still win out in a closer contest. The Augusta pressure cooker did not answer that question. Tiger v Rory on a Sunday would be immense.

  • Comment number 28.

    Northern Ireland is not a part of Britain to be very technical about political reasons, it's a part of the UK rather than Britain.

    Also as Irish, we'll claim him as one of our own because he played his amateur life in GUI competitions, which is the Golfing Union of Ireland, established before the borders, not British events. Golf in Ireland is a unitary body similar to rugby and boxing.

    But it's not a victory to be concerned politics, it's a victory for all British and Irish alike, as well as anyone who likes golf. Stunning performance.

  • Comment number 29.

    Delighted for Rory but was impressed by Lee Westwood as well who never gave up after poor first round and did well to finish third.
    It is incredible to see Donald and Westwood at the top of the rankings which reflect their sustained good performance. I would not rule out either of them winning a major still.

  • Comment number 30.

    "McIlroy has also risen to fourth in the world rankings. Luke Donald, Lee Westwood and Martin Kaymer sit above him but they already know they have been overtaken"

    What an earth is that comment all about? Iain, did you proof read your article before you posted it? If you have then when did you speak to Donald, Westwood and Kaymer and if they have given up all hope, as you lead us to believe, what did they say exactly and did you ask why?

    Thought not, you just assumed that on their behalf, eh? I'm sure they will appreciate that.

  • Comment number 31.

    "Well done Rory...the brightest golf talent since the late unsurpassable Seve."


    Hmmm...there is a glaring omission here, I can't quite put my finger on it.

  • Comment number 32.

    Best golfing performance (easily) in a major for a long long time. But let's go steady on the 'new Tiger' stuff; the one near-certain way to set Rory up to 'fail' ... to snatch disappointment from the jaws of thrilled admiration, if you will ... is to start tagging him as the next Woods. If he builds on this, keeps improving, reaches and holds the world #1 spot for a prolonged period, wins another bunch of majors (plus some WGCs) in the next five years or so, then we can talk about a TW comparison. I don't totally rule it out, btw, but we should be realistic and keep such a prospect firmly in the realms of hope not expectation.

  • Comment number 33.

    Tremendous result Rory. Very well done. Hopefully more majors will follow. Brilliant to watch.

    I didnt bother betting on him this time even though I bet him in the previous 6 majors. Clever old me!

    On another note, I fealt a bit sorry for Garcia. He is playing good but his putting is terrible. He doesnt look he's enjoying his game these days.

  • Comment number 34.

    "When was the last major an English man won? "

    Whoever said this needs to move past the politics of golf...Nick Faldo one of the games greats was the last English man to win a major and 6 of them at that.
    The fact that he is the only english major winner in 40 years doesnt mean that English golfers lack bottle or just means that they have come close but due to whatever reason lacked the mentality to finish the job.

    Well done McIlroy...the 3rd Irish major winner in the last 5 years!

  • Comment number 35.

    @ #6:
    Presumably you are happy then for Tiger now to be mentioned in the same breath as Jack Nicklaus?
    Let's be very honest here, many of us who saw Tiger at the Masters all those years ago, took a sharp intake of breath. I am sure I am not the only one who has not done it since - until this week that was. Augusta is a course that you can score on, Congressional is not supposed to be.
    So let's get real #6 - Jack Nicklaus, incredible - Tiger Woods, amazing - Rory McIlroy, signs of Tigeresque beginning to his major career, so every right to be mentioned in the same breath, or else, we cannot mention Tiger in the same breath as Rory, he never got to 16 under and he has had 13 goes at it!
    Should we not enjoy this new talent and hope that Tiger comes back and challenges again? Then - you will want to mention them in the same breath!

  • Comment number 36.

    hi iain did i hear u say at the finish last night that rory could become as big as david beckham.or was i having a bad dream .and u seem to spend a lot of time offending jay about the lack of top golfers in the states,

  • Comment number 37.

    Well said enanjay!

    Its what makes sports exciting by comparing sports stars to others sports stars. We do the same in football...comparing a modern team with a team in the past.
    Rory off course can be spoken about in the same breath of we did for Garcia when he came out...whether Rory progresses in the manor we hope he will...remains to be seen...but lets dream!

    When Tiger comes back to his best and Rory at his best...thats something we want to Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus going at it in 1977...we want to see Tiger and Rory going head to head. Phil did this for a long time but I think Rorys potential is much greater.

    Whatever happens ... Rorys bust has come at the right time when Golf has taken a huge hit with Tigers antics and peoples lack of respect for him...the sport needs a new that kids can look up to...Tiger is no longer that man!

  • Comment number 38.

    Delighted to see him pull this one off in such emphatic style. He has bags of natural talent and, more importantly, the temperament to win on the big occasions. In hindsight, his reaction to his final round at The Masters showed a young man who had had a nightmare, but was not going to dwell on it and allow it to affect his game. It's going to be great following his career over the next 15-20 years.

  • Comment number 39.


    I don't want to take anything away from Rory's win. He played incredible, but by his own admission the conditions a Congressional were very forgiving. The soft fairways and greens kept the roll to a miniumum which is why we saw low scoring across the board. Look at how many drives from players (including Rory) flirted with the deep rough only to roll up short in the first cut (or even the fairway). Even though Rory outclasssed the field, there were a whole lot of rounds in the 60's being shot over the weekend (enough to make the USGA blush I'm sure). So there's no point in trying to compare his score relative to par to anything done at Augusta or elsewhere. Great achievement all the same.

  • Comment number 40.

    Absolutely delighted for Rory.He showed tremendous character to win his first major so soon after his meltdown at Augusta.It can't be easy to lead on all four days but he showed that he does have the mental toughness that many were beginning to question.I was impressed by his putting which seems to have improved loads from the Masters.Hope he can keep his feet on the ground because now his life is going to change completely.Also felt very sorry for Sergio Garcia who definitely played better than anyone else tee to green but can't putt anymore.

  • Comment number 41.


    davidmcc123 wrote:
    You must be joking! He's not fit to be mentioned in the same breath as Tiger!


    I fully agree. McIlroy has none of Woods 'strengths'

    - unfettered arrogance and contempt for fellow players
    - boorishness
    - total absence of class
    - personality of a turnip (and that is likely being unkind to turnips!)

    McIlroy is a refreshing breath of fresh air to golf, and it is my hope that he never seeks to emulate the 'strengths' of Woods. If McIlroy needs a model to further his rise to stardom, he should look no further than Nicklaus or Palmer, in terms of maintaining his dignity while pursuing his talents.

  • Comment number 42.

    Yes he was brilliant but we focus more on this because of the overall story. the loss at Augfusta could have set him back mentally a few years and the press and many other saying he couldnt putt, he could not close it out he was this he was that ,,, what a huge mental capacity this young man has .. putting it in perspective its a truely remarkable feat, and maybe he wont win as many majors as tiger , he has already won over a lot more admiration and fans for being just a nice lad.
    lets not forget tho, he brought augusta to its knees for three rounds he burned St Andrews, in the first round and his average driving distance at US open was a laughable 318 yards,, he will be a afcator in many many more majors to come. whether he has that single minded killer instinct, to win 12 ,13 14 who knows ,, he has the talent lets just celebrate a very talent player and a very nice bloke,, a credit to himself and to his devoted parents, they must be bursting with pride and so they should

  • Comment number 43.

    Both Rory and Tiger have been bread for superstardom yet somehow there seems so much more humanity to Rory even in these early stages of his career. There have been many conversations, blogs etc about Tigers attitude and approach to golf. Those who love the game will no doubt like the early signs of Rory’s handling of his new position in the game. Let’s hope this is not destroyed by some management team or sponsors. The game does not need another machine!

    As for multiple major winner, there is no doubt that Rory will be a multiple major winner and I guess we’ll just have to wait to see how many because at the end of the day it will be down to Rory how much he really wants it. Judging on recent major performances, including Augusta which I think has helped him greatly, he wants it bad.

  • Comment number 44.

    Simply Brilliant. For such a small place to produce back to back US Open Champions it is just unbelievable. Rory did Northern Ireland proud throughout the weekend and kept everyone up late to watch him win.

    It was a great result for Northern Irish, Irish and European Golf but it was first and foremost an unbelievably brilliant result for Rory and his family. He has done us all proud in the manner in which he presented himself and came back from adversity after the masters. He is the perfect example of what hard work and dedication can achieve.

    Well done Rory!

    Hopefully now we will see a full European Tour event staged in Northern Ireland.

  • Comment number 45.

    The Brits are so obsessed with having anyone or thing that is a winner in world sport up on their shelf in the pool room.
    I'm curious to see if those in Northern Ireland would be rejoicing in the streets if Westwood were to win, and claim him as a Brit.
    Rorys' dad certainly wasn't mentioning britian to Mcdowell yesterday when he said that's back to back for Northern Ireland.
    It's quite clear in the UK it is only the English that make these claims.

    Perhaps that is why you struggle to understand, Phil, why the Americans have taken to Rory. When it comes to individual sports they really don't give a rats where they are from, they just appreciate great talent.

    The English could learn from this, but we know they ever will.

    I can understand the patriotism with regards to team sports, but when it comes to sports like tennis and golf why would you choose a player to support purely on nationality alone? Very narrow minded thinking.

  • Comment number 46.

    It's daft to compare Tiger in 2000 and McIlroy this week and their respective scores. Woods was the only one who shot mid 60s all week, with a long hard running blustery course where the second place was 3 over (Els). I dare say this US open with its soft conditions and not as penal rough had the most players ever under par at a US Open?
    Stupid comparison.

    Take McIlroy's victory for what it is, a 4 day domination of great ball striking. But not like Wood's in 2000.

  • Comment number 47.

    Well done to Rory. This is exactly what Tiger Woods needs to inspire him to get back to the top of his game. As good as Rory is then he has a long way to go before he can hope to challenge Tiger when Tiger is close to his best. He hasn't been there for a couple of years, but now that the gauntlet has been laid down, Tiger will return to show just why he is the greatest golfer to walk the planet.

  • Comment number 48.


    Wow, you clearly have a dislike for the English! Talk about tarring is all with the same brush!

    I couldn't care less where he's from, he played great golf and that's all I'm interested in. You don't want him labelled British? Absolutely fine with me.

    P.S I'd like to think there would be plenty of people on Northern Ireland who'd be over the moon to see Westwood win a major, cause that's the kind of people they are........sports fans.

  • Comment number 49.

    Rory, Rory , Rory you have given us a great game. unfortunately I couldn't watch it here in Qatar but followed online. one of the great moments for me was how the other players, Westwood excepted, expressed and showed a great deal of respect, warmth and happiness for you. All this about being the next Tiger,,,hope not. you never had the arrogance he has always shown. You look like you are always enjoying the game, winning or losing, you never lose your cool, you respect the course, the clubs you play at, the other players, the caddies, and your fans. Thank-you for showing such class and dignity. Hats of to your parents for instilling in you the qualities that have made you a great man and sportsman. My advice to you is, continue to be yourself, you are doing just fine.

  • Comment number 50.

    @46 Ozilinho,

    Agree completely. I can live with the clap-trap comments, and even the sycophants claiming he's British, but the comparisons with Woods, particularly 2000 at Pebble are silly. Again, great achievement, but let's not get carried away (yet).

  • Comment number 51.

    You might want to post that on his Twitter site, Woodman ;)

  • Comment number 52.

    I agree with Daffy...not all English want to claim sports starts as being British. This is more a media thing. Rory is Irish and no matter what the media say that wont change. All Koreans from north and south although different countries are still Korean! If China envaded and took North Korea would they all become Chinese? No.

    Some people and its only a small few dont like to see other countries dominating their sport so they try claim them. Ive never seen Andy Murray hold up a British flag after winning yet the media are all over him claiming him when he wins.

    Lets all be happy with yourself and enjoy talent no matter where they from.
    Some English need to remember the emperial days are seems claiming sports stars is the new claiming foreign soil. Lets move on!

  • Comment number 53.

    Tiger Woods has always been more admired than loved by the public. Great talent for sure, but that talent and drive made Woods seem cold and unaffected. Rory McIlroy has the potential to play with talent and drive but also seem human at the same time. To try and attempt to compare the playing achievements of McIlroy and Woods is futile because it diminishes both players.
    Suffice to say, what McIlroy showed this weekend is that he is a player with great talent and a mental strength and character. Whether McIlroy ever wins another major or wins hundred, that was still a pretty neat Championship golf.

  • Comment number 54.

    After Augusta many people argued that for all McIlroy's great ball striking he couldn't putt well enough when it mattered. For him to disprove that immediately on slick greens at Congressional suggests that not only is he a supremely gifted shot maker but a lightning fast learner with huge reserves of self belief. The only other time I've been this excited about a young sportsman's future was watching Seb Coe in 1979 breaking every middle distance record in the book without breaking sweat. The thing about this period in McIlroy's career is that none of us really knows what he could go on to achieve, it's just going to be great to watch. By the way the one guy on this blog whose predictions I'd definitely listen to is karlwbrown (post 42 above). Last Wednesday on the pre-US Open blog when the rest of us were saying the tournament was wide open he called a McIlroy win by a margin of five to eight shots. That's what I call a tipster!!!

  • Comment number 55.

    He should be allowed to enjoy his success, but ths is the way it works in the British media. After winning one major, McIlroy is compared with possibly the greatest player ever, Tiger Woods. Our media is not written for grown ups.

  • Comment number 56.

    Firstly, I believe Rory will become even better than he is now. However that does not necessarily equate to Majors in the future. luck, timing, the odd putt here or there will surely play a massive role. It won't define him, and somebody earlier said that his whole year is designed around performing at the Majors. If that is the case, he is on sticky ground there, the bread and butter events should be his focus for me.

    His putting stroke seems improved so he obviously addresses his weaknesses quickly and without blaming all over factors which is commendable.

    He will never break records in the manner of TW, simple fact. Forget the majors, he will not win as many events and he will not be No 1 for the same length of time.

    Also stop Westy bashing, most of the top 10 players would give anything for his talent, I personally wouldn't be suprised to see him win a Major but his career should be judged on overall success.

    Finally, a point raised earlier that Rory enjoyed his time in less fortunate circumstances in Haiti, that his smile and demeanour reflected this. Can someone take the miserable Garcia over there next time because if anyone needs perspective, it is him! Not as much as a smile all week long! (Maybe take Stenson with him lol)

  • Comment number 57.

    Fantastic win for McIlroy . Well won .

    @52 james mathew
    I know for a FACT he has a British passport not Irish one . If the media call him British they arent lying stealing or being bullies . He playes out of a GUI club so he can be called Irish and he is from Nothern Ireland so he can be called Nothern Irish . But who really cares ? He has done well and I would say everybody in Ireland and the UK , regardless of origin , were cheering him on and that is more important .

  • Comment number 58.

    @39 Just one thing to remember about the course which hasn't been mentioned much (if at all), the course was set up at +8, that is it was 8 shots more difficult than scratch. Over the course of four days that's 32 shots below anyone playing their local course in scratch and Rory was 16 shots better than that. Wish i could play four rounds of my local 48 under par!!

  • Comment number 59.

    @ you cant be serious,

    I take it 'You can't be serious', what a load of trash if you follow golf in Europe you want the Europeans to win, try going to a PGA event before you comment they are as biased as Ferguson. Last night they had nothing to cheer for. Anyway let's just applaud a great performance from a great talent from N.Ireland which if you're not sure is in fact in Europe.

  • Comment number 60.

    @ 58

    Me too! Anyway, all tour pros are supposed to have + handicaps (I dunno +6 or 7?) so +8 makes sense for an Open. It's funny, I was thinking at the time with Rory's massive lead, and the possibility of a collapse virtually nil by the time he made the turn, what would happen if he turned it over to me to finish off his round. I figured providing the rest of the field just played par for the remainder, then I could probably only bring him home safely from about the 15th hole onwards (I figure averaging a double per hole is about right - as long as I'm hitting it relatively straight, haha).

  • Comment number 61.

    It's brilliant that British, Irish and European Golf is in the ascendancy at the moment and to have such a talent as Rory blazing the trail is nothing short of extraordinary. Being from NI and having tracked the lads progress since he first came on the radar in his early teens I am delighted for him. I am also delighted at the depth of golfing talent in NI at the moment with the two Macs, Clarke, Maybin and Hoey all impressing on the various tours. That coupled with the talent south of the border and it is incredible the number of guys playing at the top.

    With regard to Westwood, or any other Brit for that matter. I would be swinging from the trees if any of them won a major. I think the media puts too much pressure on these guys each time and it gets harder. Monty should have won a major but probably too late now. Westwood should have won by now. Donald should win one. Might be they will never win one, but I think with guys like GMac and Rory doing it then it might get easier for the others to follow.

  • Comment number 62.

    I am delighted for Rory. It's great to see nice guys don't always come last.

    Rory showed he is made of stern stuff and answered some questions about his bottle. We still need to see him hold off a quality field in a major without such a big lead but that day may not be too far away.

    In terms of why the Americans have warmed to him so much seems straight forward to me.

    Rory McIlroy is a Rocky story and Americans love Rocky. After blowing the Masters in spectacular style Rory was a man ridiculed. He went off, licked his wounds and redoubled his efforts and came back strong as strong...... as the proudest of Americans.

    He came out swinging and had to battle his demons but he showed super human strength. He destroyed the field to show how one man can travel the long hard road of defeat to the sweetest of victories.

    In our our little corner of the world, at the extreme end of Western Europe, we still don't mind gallantly losing . Americans, though much like Freddie Mercury, have " time for losers".

    Make no mistake Rory won and he won big. He's just become an honorary American.

    PS forget about the Irish/English debate. Like it or not we are all remarkably similar.


  • Comment number 63.

    All this silly talk about Rory's Irish-ness or British-ness - it matters not.
    He is a fine talent and we should all be proud of him whether a pom or a paddy.
    For the record he is British as his passport will show - but who really cares?

  • Comment number 64.


    To say Rory won't be anywhere near as good as Tiger Woods is just as bad as saying he WILL be as good or better than Tiger Woods. Personally I'm sick of people making their "informed" predictions over people's careers and am happy to see Rory do whatever he does. When his career ends, THAT'S the time to start making the comparisons.

  • Comment number 65.

    Here we go again. The media building him up, trying to make comparisons to past players and for what? So at some stage in the not too distant future the same media will be knocking him down again.
    Well, for what its worth, congratulations Rory and when the media hype dies down just you go out there and enjoy your golf, playing the way you do, it'll not be long before you win more events. Don't allow the media to change you, be true to yourself not to others.

  • Comment number 66.

    Rory is British as his passport will show.
    But who really cares???

  • Comment number 67.

    As an American golf fan who was quite lucky to be at Congressional for Rory's final round, I think Rory's appeal goes beyond the question of ancestry to both his charisma and what happened at the Masters (though being of N. Irish and/or Irish ancestry never hurts Stateside). It's hard to explain but there is something very genuine about him and I think this comes as a great counterpoint to the robotic American players out there (Phil excluded). There is a certain Palmer-like quality to the way he approaches the game and the spectators. Also, fair play to Westwood and Jason Day. As Rory was walking back to the 18th tee, Westwood and Day were coming off the tee (Yang and McIlroy were flying through the course), both congratulated McIlroy with a round of applause and fist bump (Westwood). Classy move by both and would really like to see both get a good shot at Royal St. George's and the PGA. Well-deserved win, he simply annihilated the course and I will always remember the tee shot on the 10th after Yang stuck his close.

  • Comment number 68.

    Rory is a breath pf fresh air. So what if he looks like Plug after a piano fell on him, he's a brilliant golfer. I was worried though, that having gone 11 over, the galleries were going to stop supporting him. No worries there, the crowd will always support a fighter and a winner and most importantly golf epitomoses the American way of savage self-interest and the ruthless pursuit of individual achievment and the green-back. This was scintillatingly portrayed and epitomised in the by Tiger Woods. story. Bravo Rory, golf's anti-hero for throwing a club into the works.

  • Comment number 69.

    @62 I would claim to be one of his biggest fans, and I was glued to the set praying for him to win, but to call it a Rocky story is a little naive. Rocky was a working class hero, small amount of talent, but through sheer hard work and persistence, battled to be the best...
    Wee Rory was born into a golf loving family, born in a place with a high concentration of surrounding golf courses, lets face it, Golf is Holywoods prime sport! He went to one of the best schools in the country, and his parents ensured he was secure enough to travel both the country and planet to achieve his goals.
    Smashing Lad and i wish him all the best in the future.

    To those who doubt his ability to win like Tiger, lets not forget hes been challenging in most of the majors for the last 2 years. Hes finished in the top 3 in the last two opens, now he knows mentally what he has to do to win...Thats simply to play his own game, keep it natural, forget defence. Its a bit like asking George Best to pass it back to the keeper in the last 10 minutes of a game, or Higgy to slow the game down and try a few snookers in the last few games... not in their genetics, just like defensive play isn't in Rory 'Birdy Machine' McIroy's game.

  • Comment number 70.

    It was a great US Open performance on a course that was playing softer than the Stuart Pearce's U21's. That was not a US Open quality course, whatsoever. Not even close. The rough was trimmed up. Greens so soft and accepting every dart. An eight stroke victory is impressive on a normal PGA setup. But, it's nothing compared to Tiger Woods in 2000 at Pebble Beach where no one in the field is able to crack par except the winner who wound up winning by FIFTEEN strokes with -12. This kid just isn't as dominant as Tiger was in his prime. If he starts winning 7, 8 or 9 tournaments a year and throwing a couple majors in there, then you can start with the comparisons. Otherwise, you just sound desperate and ridiculous.
    How about Rory just be the current and next Rory? These comparisons get annoying. Let these athletes be themselves and make their own mark on the game's history. I am just happy to see some excitement (positive excitement) back in the game of golf. I really hope Tiger can get back to true form, so we can see some good competitive golf again. For the time being, I'm happy for Rory and enjoyed watching his performance!
    Im pretty sure Tiger's never blown a lead like Rory did. Im pretty sure Tiger was more dominate than Rory is at this age. I'm pretty sure Tiger is the arguably the greatest golfer ever. And im pretty sure if it wasn't for his mishap he'd still be dominating like he was before.. Don't put petty drama into the sport of golf.

    I wonder why nobody's commenting on how easy the setup was for this Championship? In the past 10 US Opens, only 17 players finished the tournament under par, and there have been 5 of those 10 years when there have been either 0 players under par or only the Champion under par. This year 20 PLAYERS FINISHED UNDER PAR. Seems to me the US Open without Tiger was setup to be a ratings draw. A 2000 Tiger could have beaten Rory by a few strokes, I dare you to refuse this

  • Comment number 71.


    I completely agree with what you say regarding the Tiger's performance at the 2000 Open being a much greater feat, but I would refute that the 2000 Tiger would have beaten Rory at the Congressional by a few strokes. Rory played flawlessly and as hard as it is to imagine would probably be outdriving Woods most of the weekend. Maybe if Tiger had a hot putter who knows? It's interesting to think about all the same. Tiger has heaps of game and can do it in all conditions under extreme pressure, that is proven fact and that's where Rory IMO has yet to prove himself. But, as I said, I don't see how anyone could have done much better than he did this past weekend as he was virtually flawless. But at the same time, I think if you put him at Pebble with Tiger 11 years ago, I'd expect he'd struggle to shoot par like all the rest (except Tiger of course).

  • Comment number 72.

    Without a shadow of a doubt, this outstanding young man will become the best golfer this nation and the best ever sportsman Northern Ireland has ever seen. To do what he has done and to learn so quickly from the disaster of the Masters shows character of steel. Well done Rory. These shores and Northern Ireland will look back on this in forty years time and say " i remember when it all started for him".

  • Comment number 73.

    I am absolutely delighted for my countryman and fellow Ulster fan. His golf was majestic but surpassed by the style and good grace with which he won. His bearing and demeanour should be a lesson to all, particularly Tiger Woods. He was a joy to watch and never have I been so thrilled by someone else's success.

    Well done Rory - good man yerself!

  • Comment number 74.

    Greatness is a function of outstanding results and longevity. No one can become great overnight. Looking at the phenomenal records of the past I can remember when Johnny Miller used to shoot scores that were unbelievable and he often left the rest of the field in his wake. What makes McIlroy's victory so special (and highlighted in this article) is the number of people who truly wanted him to win. Let's hope everyone continues to support him in the future because he is obviously a really nice guy. Congratulations on your major win Rory!

  • Comment number 75.

    As a Brit watching in the US and listening to coverage that claimed how the US Open is always set up for par golf it was interesting then listening to the excuses they then made for Rory destroying what was said to be a long a difficult course. That the rough did not grow due to a hot spell the week before may have made things easier but finding the fairways so often made it much easier !
    And then certain comments trying to belittle his achievement because the course was actually easy ...... So US biased it was funny. It was the same course for the Americans to play, this seemed to be forgotten at times. Even though in all fairness there was never any comment against how well he did actually play.
    Great to watch and whether he is the new Tiger or goes on to be his own man (hopefully) and wins lots wherever he plays - fantastic to see him get the win after The Masters which was heart wrenching to watch.
    So here is hoping he stays his own man and continues to play his own game

  • Comment number 76.

    As an expatriate Brit living in the US I wholeheartedly share the general enthusiasm regarding Rory's performance this last week and I was fortunate to be there at Congressional last Thursday. However too many of the earlier posts seem to underplay the talents (and future prospects) of the likes of Lee Westwood and Sergio Garcia. Indeed neither yet boasts a Major victory - but why not? Because, perhaps, on one particular day, one golfer (eg. Padraig Harrington) of neither greater nor lesser greater proven merit than themselves, had a "banner" 30 -45 minutes and took home a prize that might just as easily have gone to Lee or Sergio. That's the way of golf. Was Rory's achievement last week significantly more spectacular than most recent Major winning performances? Yes, for sure. But let's not allow ourselves to completely carried away, folks.

    Jerry Tattum, N Virginia, USA

  • Comment number 77.

    Whats really encouraging about McElroy's success is that it opens up the possibility of finally of having a formidable stand out player ascend to the no 1 spot in the near future thus providing a worthy successor to Woods rather than having to endure this endless bout of " musical chairs " currently being played out by journeymen pros.

  • Comment number 78.

    A great win! A great performance by Rory!

    I don't understand the need for comparisons. Indeed, Congressional played softer over the week, but we can't control the weather!

    All this talk about "role model" is dangerous - for want of a better word. TW was a role model. #37, we really can't use football or footballers, but Giggs was a footballing role model. It went sour for the both of them.

    Let's just enjoy the golfing spectacle of the past few days. And hope for more.

  • Comment number 79.

    Are you seriously using the word journeymen to describe Westwood, Donald and Kaymer? You either need to watch them play or find a dictionary. The fact that the current top three have passed the ranking around is a testament to the way each man in turn has raised his game. The winning streak that took Kaymer to no 1 included a Major, Donald took no 1 after a shoot out with his nearest rival for the PGA and Westwood has been consistently excellent for the past two years. The one thing I'd like to add to the well-deserved praise that's being heaped on McIlroy is that it's striking how many Americans are comparing his personality to Phil Mickelson's. Like Phil he's a charismatic, warm hearted guy who makes you want to root for him, regardless of nationality. The "is he British/is he Irish" debate reminds me of a similar argument I kept hearing 20 years ago when Woosie won the Masters. I'm Welsh, and I didn't give a monkey's whether people called him Welsh or British. I was just thrilled to see someone I supported achieve something special, and I was even more thrilled to see McIlroy nail it at Congressional. By the way, Woosie didn't dominate the game any more than Kaymer, Westwood or Donald but no one questioned his right to be ranked number 1 and I'm pretty sure no one ever called him a journeyman either.

  • Comment number 80.


    I was talking about why THE AMERICANS took to Rory so much. It doesn't make a blind bit of difference to Americans where Rory went to school or how privileged his upbringing was. Americans love a guy down on his look who perseveres and comes back a winner. Watch 99.95% of Hollywood films to see the plot line.

    Anyway I was having a bit of fun with it and not being overly serious. I'm a little bit too naive to be as pragmatic as yourself.

  • Comment number 81.

    this is a video of Ror as a 9 year old after winning the under 10 world champs, he was world number 1 amatuer at 16, european am champion and irish champion at 16, gold medal winner at the open championship, has led 3 of 10 majors and won one.

    is he the next tiger, no. I think he is the next bobby jones or Mo Norman

  • Comment number 82.

    45.At 15:49 20th Jun 2011, you cant be serious wrote:

    Perhaps that is why you struggle to understand, Phil, why the Americans have taken to Rory. When it comes to individual sports they really don't give a rats where they are from, they just appreciate great talent.

    The English could learn from this, but we know they ever will.

    I can understand the patriotism with regards to team sports, but when it comes to sports like tennis and golf why would you choose a player to support purely on nationality alone? Very narrow minded thinking.

    Really YOU cannot be serious!

    So how much "U...S...A" do *you* hear when their tennis players are playing - maybe not so much now as they only really have the Williams sisters?
    Or their boxers? atheletes? swimmers? skiiers? or whatever....
    Rest of us hear quite a bit, pity muddled headed cloth-eared twits can't open their eyes or ears to what happens in the real world.
    Most people who watch individual competative sport support their country's man/woman at least at some time or at some level. In fact many nations get totally overwhelmed with it - Greek sprinters, Aussie/US swimmers, etc....etc...etc....

    Anyway hats off to the young lad, great comeback from the Masters and a great attitude to life. Good luck in becoming the golfer that all the potential shows he can.

  • Comment number 83.

    First, congrats to Rory - phenomenal performance. But...I must make mention of the young Aussie who is making an impression very quickly in golf. Jason Day (23 y.o) finished 2nd to Rory at the US Open, after finishing equal 2nd a few months back at his first Masters. This kid has been touted as the most exciting golfer to come out of Oz since the Shark! Here's hoping for a long rivalry between the new breed - Day and McIlroy

  • Comment number 84.

    What a great start to the summer for Rory...I think he will win one of the remaining two majors to top off his summer before enjoying supporting his national team in the Rugby World Cup.....IRELAND!

  • Comment number 85.

    Comparison to the greats in any sport are always fraught with difficulties and in this case, and in the early stages of his professional career, it's just plain daft.
    Whilst I concur with all those who extol McIlroy's performance he's only 22 and he has a long career ahead of him.
    Whilst he has an unbelievably natural talent, which should see him secure more Majors, let's not get ahead of oursleves.
    His phenominal win will mean that his is lauded as the greatest player the World has seen and I hope Rory will remind himself of Kipling's famous quote “If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster. And treat those two impostors just the same” then he'll be OK.
    Judging by the way he handled his Maters disappointment I think he's handled himself very well.
    However we know how the Media can change and if he say, misses the cut at The Open, I hope that the Media might show some restraint and give the guy some slack.
    As an aside it will be interesting to see how Woods comes back from his injury and how he copes with the new breed of players fast tracking their way to the top.
    He's been through a bad patch (domestically and with his game) so you hope that he'll get back to something like his best and then the acid test will be are the likes of McIlroy going to challenge him.
    Should be fun to watch.

  • Comment number 86.

    European golf is in great hands with not only Rory but with the young Manesero also.
    However the world of golf needs to be careful, the US tour is funded by huge tv and advertising rights. If the Americans do not have anyone to follow the huge prizes and interest in golf my wain over the next few years. For example look at the ladies tour and how the audiences became fed up with the Koreans winning everything.
    What golf needs from Rory is not a winning machine but a personality that everyone loves and wants to watch. For me that will make him the next Tiger.

  • Comment number 87.

    Awesome job by Rory, I like many posters here can't understand why we are bashing Westwood though!
    Let us all rejoice in the fact that we have the best golfers in the world on the European tour. Its been a long time coming but it porves something that I have thought for a while now. The PGA tour is breeding golfers who only know how to play one way and very similar courses. The European tour players and European's who play on the PGA tour tend to have a broader outlook than those in the USa and more rounded games.
    This is great news for the next Ryder cup think of the potential side we have

    Rory Mc

    To name but a few!
    The European team has strength in depth like never before!

    Congrats to Rory can't wait for the open! For the first time I could envisage all 4 majors being in European and European tour hands and I believe thats not happened before! All Europeans should be celebrating this exceptional win lets hope this is the first of many.

  • Comment number 88.

    Casey prob wont make the next ryder cup as he wont play in europe and doesnt seem to care if he plays or he isnt good enough on current form.

  • Comment number 89.

    Hi,everything has been said I guess but what a truly remarkable swish of good to come from Northern Ireland after decades of negative PR.For Graeme McDowell and Rory McIlroy to win back to back US Opens alongside their friendship and unity at the ryder cup is the best thing ever to happen to Northern Ireland sport ever!
    Also, and only an aside but within a radius of about 8 - 10 miles in Northern Ireland we have brought the world Rory,George Best and Alex Higgins.All legends but rory looks oncourse to being the greatest sportsman of all time in Northern Ireland.
    Well done buddy.
    Michael Weir,Bangor

  • Comment number 90.

    After reading through the above posts I have two points to make;

    a) People moaning about the comparison to Woods. This is normal in any sport, as Messi will testify for years he has be known as the 'next Maradona' until he has become great in his own right.

    b) If Tiger needed that extra motivation to return to the pinnacle of golf, a worthy pretender to his crown such as Rory is it.

  • Comment number 91.

    The real story of Congressional is how Rory has been able to turn disaster to triumph so quickly. I was at Augusta in April and could not believe how the player who was breezing around the course so confidently on Saturday could unravel so spectacularly on the Sunday. As we left the course we assumed he would be broken man and our only thought was 'will he ever recover from this'?
    The fact that just two months later he could go out and win the next major by 8 strokes is amazing and speaks volumes about him. We have known for a while he has the talent but now we now know he has the mental strength that few can match. For me it is this fact alone why we now have to seriously consider him as a potentential multiple major winner.

  • Comment number 92.

    @ 91 " we now know he has the mental strength that few can match "

    Careful . That may be premature.

    Remember . Nobody put the heat on Rory over the weekend at Congressional . Let's see how he copes when the pack are breathing down his neck . ( as in Augusta ) . Then we can see the real deal.

  • Comment number 93.

    #79 ah a welshman ! a resident of a country who sported a handy rugby side in the 70's and whose supporters have'nt stopped talking about it since..........ah well its good for the laryngeal muscles once supposes

  • Comment number 94.

    Well done Rory! he played great golf and acted like a proper gentleman, now my kids will go to the range and want to hit it like Rory and I'll be pleased, as I think he not only gave a great golfing performance but also showed how to behave like a sportsman.

  • Comment number 95.

    The game is very very exciting at the moment and arguably this could be golfs finest ever hour.Rory,mannasero,day,kaymer shining for the kids and the will he won't he for westwood (he is oncourse for doing a 'monty' in relation to the majors),the will he recapture his greatness about woods etc...
    It is all great and golf is at a good place.I think donald will fall away in time,woods will win more majors(this man does not have to play his very best to win),kaymer is the new langer and will always be there or thereabouts and Rory is the new Seve type,not woods type.Woods is a phenomenon but an enigma with the public but rory is the new peoples champ as he is accessible and appears an all round good spud.I would love to see woods,rory,westwood etc.. in contention soon in a major as that will be TV hard to beat.Roll on the open and let's hope the cream rises to the top.

  • Comment number 96.

    I have stopped up for my whole life watching golfers win majors and thoroughly enjoyed watching 90% win. I will never forget the 'meltdown' of Rory because it was the first time I wanted to turn off the golf and forget it was happening. I have never looked at a golfer with his head resting on his arms and the look of dismay as his golf ball sat either in the pine-straw or water. On huge contrast I watched him boss the field at the US Open and now believe that he is the real deal and can now go on and win countless events. Yes he's struggled in the past; would Woods have blown the 63 at St. Andrews and the 4 shot lead at Augusta? Probably not. They are different golfers; one is a loner, single-minded and has the cut-throat competitiveness, the other is a team-player, hugely popular on and off the course and has the cheeky nature that the old greats such as Palmer and Player had. I for one want to see him progress and bring the confidence to other Europeans (hopefully English) to win big and dominate world golf.

  • Comment number 97.

    #92 Fair point, let's see what happens when the heat is on.
    Rory's reaction to Augusta compares favourably to that of Johnson and Watney who have suffered similar recent experiences. Not saying he is 'the' toughest but we should not underestimate the turnaround and winning a major will give added confidence going forward.

  • Comment number 98.

    This is the first time in a while I have been whooping and hollering at the TV in joy as Rory closed it out, I am so happy for him.

    To me, the pressure he played under over the weekend was immense and should not be overlooked. I'm sure he would have thought on Friday night, 'if I don't close it out from here, after Augusta, I may never recover from this.'

    So I think handling that kind of self induced pressure is a great indicator he will be able to handle the different type of pressure of fending off a chasing pack.

    I'm not saying he won't blow a lead again, but he has sure made significant progress since the Masters and that augers well for the future.

    Get in there wee man, chuffed to bits for you!

  • Comment number 99.

    Agreed, nobody got close enough to rattle McIlroy on the weekend but that was because he didn't let them. If he was going to show weakness then Saturday would have been a vulnerable time after the double bogey finish on Friday night. Normally Westwood and Day shooting such good third rounds would have put them right in the mix but Saturday wasn't really "moving day" because McIlroy kept moving forward too. I agree that holing a six footer to keep a one shot lead is a big test, but I think consistently hitting greens and holing out for 72 holes to stop anyone else getting a sniff of a chance says even more about his character.

  • Comment number 100.

    Well done Rory but shame on Iain Carter! Is this the same man who not so long ago was telling us Kaymer would be unstoppable then Luke before they've suddenly joined the ranks of the 'overtaken' with a golfer who basically matched Rory's score over the last 3 rounds? Gimme a break Iain. Enjoy the golf, enjoy the different types of player (Palmer, Seve, Rory) (Hogan, Langer, Donald) (Nicklaus, Faldo, Westwood) and don't needlessly slag off top performers because one of their friends has had a brilliant week. Can't wait for next month to gorge on another Open Sandwich!!


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