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Rory's reputation gains world support

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Iain Carter | 16:36 UK time, Monday, 27 February 2012

Rory McIlroy is not officially the world's number one golfer but it will feel as though he is when he embarks on the second leg of his American tour of duty this week.

Of the many abiding images he stirred during his run to the final of the WGC Match Play, perhaps the most powerful was the chanting of his name during the final which he lost to Hunter Mahan.

McIlroy was treated as the home town boy despite the fact that the 22-year-old from Northern Ireland was facing an American Ryder Cup player in the Arizona desert.

They love a star in the United States and although McIlroy failed to claim his first WGC title on Sunday evening he remains the one that shines most brightly in the game right now. As far as the Tucson crowds are concerned he has already earned his stripes.

This was despite the world number two being largely and inexplicably ignored by TV directors for much of the opening rounds which was baffling treatment for the reigning US Open champion.

Nevertheless, McIlroy's celebrity grows with every tournament he plays. He exudes a charisma that matches his golfing X Factor.

So when he admits that it is "almost inevitable" that he will go to number one in the world sooner rather than later, he is able to do it without appearing in any way conceited.

McIlroy's swing has been criticised by some, but supported by others. Photo: AP

More and more he is becoming the centre of attention in the golfing world; he is starting to close in on the territory that has been the almost exclusive domain of Tiger Woods for the last decade and a half.

McIlroy's every move is gaining more and more analysis - especially his swing. Critics try to highlight the odd fault and it was interesting to hear a range of opinions in Tucson last week.

Sir Nick Faldo raised concerns that McIlroy's right knee moves too much and another former pro told me the Holywood youngster is too steep on the way back. Then again former US Ryder Cup captain Paul Azinger tweeted that McIlroy's is the most pure action in the game right now.

This is exactly the sort of treatment that Woods has endured throughout his career. The former number one tends to bridle when those less worthy pipe up with their views, although he admits it doesn't annoy him as much as it used to.

McIlroy is a somewhat different character and already seems a much more mature figure than when he reacted so angrily to Jay Townsend's Twitter attack on his caddie JP Fitzgerald last summer.

He can look at a results sheet that shows it has become a rarity when he finishes outside the top three of any tournament he plays. There is instant justification for how he goes about playing the game.

McIIroy's course management can still be called into question but that is an inevitable biproduct when you play with such verve and confidence. It is less likely you will recognise a downside to your intentions when you absolutely believe you can execute an ambitious shot.

Although he lost the final to Mahan, his victory in the semis over England's Lee Westwood will serve him extremely well in the future.

It was a match that both men desperately wanted to win and it is more probable than possible that they will be eyeing each other in a major final round before long.

Westwood's desire to avenge this defeat will know no bounds but his key objective is sustaining current form. His short game is growing more secure and relieving the pressure on his traditional strengths of driving and long iron play.

He is fit and confident and will be looking to continue in this vein at West Palm Beach this week. Sensibly Luke Donald is not playing the Honda Classic and instead is taking the chance to put his game back in order after falling to Ernie Els in the first round of his Matchplay defence.

They are now entering into the spell where all players are hoping to hone their games for the year's first major, The Masters, in April.

Some have further to travel than others. Donald is some way off while Westwood is firmly on course - and so too, of course, is McIlroy despite his final failure in Tucson.

It won't be long before his name is being chanted again and with great delight by fans wherever they reside on the golfing globe.


Page 1 of 5

  • Comment number 1.

    Wow what a weekend of golf,

    How did i do on the prediction mickysausage?

  • Comment number 2.

    By the way well done to Hunter Mahan.

  • Comment number 3.

    Good blog Iain, its a nice little pre-amble for the up and coming masters.
    It was interesting to see both McIlroy and Westwood challenging in the later stages but more interesting the aftermath and interviews. Westwood played well and looked up to his recent good form, but the only thing that worries me with LW is he seemed happy to get to the last 4 as he generally doesn't do well in this competition, contrast that to Rory who was gutted that he'd come second. Its not nice to question peoples hunger, but i'd like Westwood to be a bit more aggressive about winning these torno's.
    Well done to Mahan, solid throughout, and kept his concentration in the final, unlike Rory.

  • Comment number 4.

    Such a biased post again.. Please can you and the BBC stop over hyping him (the way you all do with Andy Murray)

    For the record McIlroy was -3 for the week as compared to Westwoods -16 when they met. He had a great spell of holes but that did not make him a deserved winner of the tournament and Mahan completely outplayed him and was the best there was all week.

    As for him being world number 1 how can anyone who has won just 4 times, on the European and PGA tour combined, in his 5 year pro career even be considered the best there is.

    Maybe he will be great but he has a long way to go and really does need to improve as there are several very talented Americans coming through but you tend to ignore these.

  • Comment number 5.

    Iain clearly does have a little bit of a love in with Mcilroy and 5 pro wins could be argued to not live upto the hype. But show me another player on the tour who has 5 pro wins at that age (Excluding TW) and it shows what a brilliant talent and potential superstar he is.

    Evmondo , Sadly the scores for the week leading upto their match are totally irrelevant, thats not how matchplay works, Mahan deserved to win bewcause he beat everyone he played, Rory deserved to be in the final because he won all his games on the way upto the final. No ifs, no buts, no pointless discussion of scores.

    Congratulation to Mahan and even bigger congratulations to me for picking him :)

  • Comment number 6.

    "Such a biased post again.. Please can you and the BBC stop over hyping him (the way you all do with Andy Murray)

    For the record McIlroy was -3 for the week as compared to Westwoods -16 when they met. He had a great spell of holes but that did not make him a deserved winner of the tournament and Mahan completely outplayed him and was the best there was all week.

    As for him being world number 1 how can anyone who has won just 4 times, on the European and PGA tour combined, in his 5 year pro career even be considered the best there is.

    Maybe he will be great but he has a long way to go and really does need to improve as there are several very talented Americans coming through but you tend to ignore these."


  • Comment number 7.

    Matchplay isn't always a guide as to who played the best golf of the week. I saw a stat in the quarter-final that McIlory's opponents had only made 8 birdies against him to that point, but that's not McIlory's problem - he just did what he had to do to win games and he played well against Westwood.

    Evmondo - I agree that McIlroy maybe lacks 'wins' but there's no prolific winners out there now that Tiger's domination is over. There are some very talented Americans coming through but I can't think of any who have all that many wins or whothe talent of McIlory.

    Anyway, well done to Mahan and anyone who predicted him to win.

  • Comment number 8.

    Westwood appeared to me to play the most impressive golf all week, just had a dry run of holes against a resurgent McIlroy in the semi. If he continues this run of form I'd back him for the Masters, one problem though might be that his heavy schedule before the Masters leads to burnout.

  • Comment number 9.

    What tosh.

    "It won't be long before his name is being chanted again and with great delight by fans wherever they reside on the golfing globe"? What was that all about?

    Mr Carter had you written your "Rory number one" piece beforehand and had to modify it slightly to a non-story?

    What will happen the next time your darlings lose I wonder, will you forget all about them and take up criticising Tiger and the Americans again for "lacking consistency"?


  • Comment number 10.

    Well done to Jimmy for picking Mahan, i had a second and fourth so not too bad a round for me either.

  • Comment number 11.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 12.

    Well done Mahan

    I see people are already arguing for /against McIlory,although he seems to come across as slightly arrogant, to play at his level (soon to be No.1) I asume you have to be this way and have an awful lot of self belief and mentally very strong.

    Does he care what WE think ? All he is concerned about is winning,which in my opinion isn't a bad thing,remember he is still very young and we should all support him and hope he along with the rest of the european and ROW talent keep sticking it up the Yanks,then one day we may see a WGC competition outside of America.(Only 3 Americans made it to the Qtr's )

  • Comment number 13.

    I'd disagree that McIlroy would not deserve to be No. 1 - the No. 1 ranking is for the player who has been the best over the last 24 months. Rory should really have won two Majors last year, as it is he won one at a canter. Yes he didn't feature in the other two majors, but how many players seriously challenge at all 4? Almost none. And who would bet against him challenging at the Masters and the US Open this year?

    You can't argue with the rankings, they represent how well people have played!

  • Comment number 14.

    Well said @Evmondo you have hit the nail on the head there mate!

  • Comment number 15.

    I wonder if the Professionals really care about being world number 1, don`t get me wrong it’s a great thing to achieve but how high on their list of priorities is it.
    One thing for certain as Mcilroy gets more and more popular, the intensity and criticism will increase. Tiger managed to control this very well (until it blew up in his face) and even marketed himself as the unbeatable mythical golf machine that never loses when in front. Don`t know if Mcilroy has the same aura but he could have, only time will tell.

  • Comment number 16.

    What is it about golf that makes for such angry comments? Maybe it is not just golf actually, maybe it is sport in general, maybe it is the mix of sport and the internet.

    Iain's blog is his blog, he can say whatever he likes, but whatever he says he seems to provoke this outpuring of rage from what I can gather. If the crowd were chanting Rory's name and Iain was there to witness it, then that is simply stating a fact. I think the crowd did the same thing at Congressional last year? So it seems that the angry bunch out there simply do not like McIlroy - no need to start spouting angry nonsense just because this blog points out reality.

    For the record, Mahan, McDowell and lots of other top pros think the exact same thing about Rory McIlroy - maybe they are all talking rubbish too?

  • Comment number 17.

    I don't dislike McIlroy but the BBC and its journalists have a history of going over the top with regards to UK based tennis and golf players.

    McIlroy is potentially world class but he is no Tiger Woods or Jack or Phil or Faldo and many others for that matter. He has miles to go before even being mentioned in the same breath as them.

    Maybe he will get there maybe he wont but just because he wins one major does not make him the best player in the world. He also needs to adapt his game to compete in all events not just courses that suit a bomb and target golf.

    Keegan Bradley won a major last year has as many PGA Tour titles as Rory and he has been outstanding on the PGA tour since then but the BBC don't recognise players like this.

  • Comment number 18.

    This article's an early contender for non story of the year or am I simply lost in translation? Perhaps one feels under pressure to justify one's huge BBC salary and be perceived to be getting some work done?! "Rory's reputation gains world support"..... since when did vociferous chanting American crowds constitute or define the entire the golfing "world" (of fans)? Last time I checked, golfing fans hail from many parts across the globe other than the US!!
    "This was despite the world number two being largely and inexplicably ignored by TV directors for much of the opening rounds...."! Says it all really! Sigh!!

  • Comment number 19.

    The BBC choose to cover British players in the top 3 in the world rankings rather than an American outside of the top 10 in the world rankings as a rule. I'd say that its fair and proportional coverage based on the fact the the BBC's target Audience is more likely to be interested in the best British players as opposed to not the best American players. If you differ then of course that is fair enough but best to remember that you cant please all the people all the time.

    Added to that is the fact that a blog is basically just a writers opinion, rather than a new report and therefore will naturally be more inclined to feature players the writer is personally interested in.

    I think in places Iain was a little over the top in his analysis here "it is more probable than possible that they will be eyeing each other in a major final round before long." But as he may well be proved right i'm not going to start jumping up and down and banging my critical drum just because the blog doesnt exactly mirror my opinion

  • Comment number 20.

    the kd won three times last year and iwasw a teenager two seasons ago. to say he has had 5 season with only 5 wins is a bt disingenuos given his age. in the last fifteen tournamnets he has won three had 9 top 6 finishes and had a damaged wrist at the PGA. over the last 9 months he is ranked number one. Going forward ths year he will wn at Augusta and The Open championship. he you been watching his short game. its Donald like buy he hits t 50 yards further off the tee. phenominal and a legend in the makng,, end of

  • Comment number 21.

    Well said @Evmondo you have hit the nail on the head there, you should post more regular, you put good views accross!

  • Comment number 22.

    #18: "This was despite the world number two being largely and inexplicably ignored by TV directors for much of the opening rounds...."! Says it all really! Sigh!!

    - What says it all? This says relatively little - you make a very confusing point.

  • Comment number 23.

    Look - Rory may well end up World #1 and we can enjoy watching him (or not) but it has got to be good golf, surely? We'll still have our own favourites but the likes of RM and Fowler will ensure younger players maintain a healthy interest in the sport we love.
    Agree re. the blog - why so critical some people? I agree wholeheartedly re. poor TV coverage. The rest is just some facts and some rhetoric - hardly worth getting wound up over.
    For what it's worth re the Match Play... I agree with Westwood (as I invariably do) - it is a fickle beast so I won't read too much into the result. LW can take heart from a good week's work... after 72 holes I'm guessing he was a comfortable winner/leader (slightly irrelevant/ambiguous, I know)... and a lucky bounce out of the desert on #11 for Rory probably won him their semi.

    Mickey - if you're predicting the Honda: Westwood Bradley Schwartzel... as I may be busy for the next couple of days!

  • Comment number 24.

    Evmondo, stop talking rubbish. Go to the world rankings website and click on Keegan Bradleys name, he has had ONE top ten since the USPGA and has also missed two cuts.

    Now click on McIlroys name....
    he has finished outside the top ten 4 times since winning his US Open, has had 9 top 5s and one other top 10.

    The hype is there for a reason.

  • Comment number 25.

    The only thing Rory lacks right now is a bit of patience, and understanding you can't shoot at every pin. Tiger figured this out early, and it won't be long for McIlroy to get that part of managing his game right. He has everything else. When he does start flying, can look for a bunch of other players to be dragged along in his draft. What i don't want to see is POY going to a guy with a couple of wins (unless they're majors).

  • Comment number 26.

    karlwbrown 3 wins maybe but US Open apart, one was an Asian Tour Event and the other was a non sanctioned event again in Asia. That is not worthy of a world number one he has to win on the PGA tour more often

    I agree he COULD win the Masters but then so could several other multiple major winners with much better records around Augusta and as for the Open, no chance his record is shocking and he will not adapt to play links golf. All his wins have on similar courses under similar conditions.

    Yeah he is young but Matteo Manassero is 18 and already has two European Tour wins to his name, 4 years to catch Rorys 4 overall

    Tiger at 23 he had 15 Wins including two majors and two world golf championships - will Rory have this by the end of this year when the same age? I dont think so do you?

  • Comment number 27.

    Wow, i didn't realise how many people are willing to jump on McIroy's back over a slightly biased blog?!
    I agree with post @19 in its entirety. Its quite obvious that the BBC is going to be more interested in British golfers than American, especially if you look at were they are in the world rankings.

  • Comment number 28.

    mickysausage is evmondo, clear as day.

    McIlroy does deserve the hype IMO, played incredible golf since his management switch.

  • Comment number 29.

    1).The US TV coverage pretty much focussed on Woods and matches that were close to conclusion. There was plenty of Rory as his matches hit the back nine but hardly surprising front nine exchanges were omitted. Remember, McIlroy was among the last matches out Wednesday thru Friday.

    2).Now comes the hard part. Lots of hype for Rory and how will he deal with it? Starting on Thursday - imagine he'll be grouped with Woods.
    Would think any top tens during the "Florida Swing" would be seen as very good results for Rory. He's putted poorly on Bermuda greens in the past and he'd be wise to focus on Augusta and not care too much about the intervening tournaments which, Cadillac apart, are being played merely to squeeze in his 15 tournaments.

  • Comment number 30.

    I am nothing to do with mickysausage LordVoldemort

  • Comment number 31.

    Mahan was the deserving winner of this tournament as he played consistently the best golf over the course of the week. The nature of matchplay is that, dependent on your opponent’s performance, you can stumble through playing quite poorly or be knocked out even though you’ve had a great round e.g. McIlroy was poor enough over the first 3 days but managed to get through as his opponents didn’t play too well, his opponents in those first 3 matches only accumulated 5 birdies between them, hardly world-beating golf. McIlory could easily have been thumped in the first round, a la the Ben Crane 8&7 embarrassment of last year! Contrast that- Mannassero was -6 in his match against Laird but lost out to an unbeatable Laird who racked up 8 birdies in 16 holes..................

  • Comment number 32.

    Nah, Micky knows what he's talking about most of the time Evmondo, doesnt they cant be the same person.

    The "Asian Tour" tour event he talk down was actually co-sanction european tour event whilst the non sanctioned event that he so easily dismisses was against a top quality field. The issue of who organised the event is really of no importance and doesnt reflect in any way on the quality of the golf produced en route to the win

  • Comment number 33.

    LordVoldemort, I think your'e spot aon about mickysausage and Evmondo being one and the same.

    I'd like to hear BiloMcT's views on that.

  • Comment number 34.

    ……………..IMHO McIlroy is not yet the best player in the world for 2 reasons – 1. His putting isn’t good enough 2. He makes silly mistakes and bad course management decisions, giving shots easily to the course/opponent. This is something that the man he is ultimately hunting down, TW, did not do, better decision making / course management and always managing to extract the best score possible when not quite at his best. In fairness though he is still a chap, particularly in golfing terms, so his course management is bound to improve over time. Putting though, doesn’t hole enough, still major question marks there.

  • Comment number 35.

    Agree with CFC boy - too much anger here. Get some therapy. I think Rory is probably the best right now and he seems to have another gear which could put him eventually among the Trevino Seve Faldo level of greats of golf bracket. To compare with Tiger or Jack is to compare him with the absolute best. Unfair. I really hope Westy finds a similar winning overdrive game because at the minute he reminds me of those distance runners of my youth like Dave Bedford and Brendan Foster who could set good times but missed out on medals cos they didn't have a final kick on the big occasion. Anyway I also agree with CFC boy on his picks for the Honda. Had a disaster in the desert and I need some points.

  • Comment number 36.

    @26 evmondo. Manassero may have won twice, but he's not featured in a major. He's one for the future though.

    Rory's had a decent shout at winning all the majors already. I'm thinking of last year's Masters, Open at St Andrews where he was 2nd with an 80, and the PGA that Kaymer won. He's featuring at the very highest level on a pretty regular basis.

    If Westwood could just putt a little more consistently I would back him for the Masters.

  • Comment number 37.

    @LordVoldemort just because i have commented on @Evmondo's post's doesnt mean that he is my alter ego! He has just hit the nail on the head a few times with his comments and i suggested he psot more! I may have to monitor you @LordColdermort for possible trolling!

    Guys i will update the prediction league later, just a bit busy ay the minute (Posting has Evmondo)

  • Comment number 38.

    Jimmy, lets hear what standard of Golf you play to make you such an expert.. sure you have all the opinions in the world and blast it deep off a 23 handicap, you clearly have no clue

    If you read what I say he is good, but has a long way to go to be mentioned with the greats of the game, he needs to win more to show this. He is miles from where Tiger was at his age

  • Comment number 39.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 40.

    Jeff - Fair criticisms of Rory however i think that Tiger Woods has slightly altered our image of what a world No1 should be. In the pre tiger days all No 1's had weaknesses. Norman had questionable temperament, Faldo didnt overpower courses and was often steady not spectacular, Seve struggled to hit it stratght, Etc...

    Being world no 1 doesnt invlove being the perfect golfer, just the best at any 1 moment in time.

  • Comment number 41.

    @35 Diamondvneck - I think Westwood is right up there with the best tee to green. It's his short game and putting that lacks consistency. When he missed the 72nd hole in Dubai I never expected him to get up and down, and he wasn't even close.

  • Comment number 42.

    Agree that there is too much Rory hype which won't help him - let's see where he is in a couple of years - Martin Kymer was the great hope a year or so ago and he hasn't exactly put his foot on the gas.

    Apart from that this is a great tournament (better than Wentworth in my opinion) with stunning surroundings and a last round that could be must see viewing like the Masters - even the Mrs watched it for that reason.

  • Comment number 43.

    Evmondo - What does it matter what standard I play. I think you've made a number of in my opinion ridiculous statements so far that lead me to believe that you dont really know fantastic ammount so i voiced my disagreement. If you're going to take people disagreeing with you so personally i would suggest online discussions aren't really for you.

    None the less i will apologise for offending you and will accept that i should have qualified my statement that you dont know what you are talking about by adding that its just purely my opinion.

  • Comment number 44.

    Jimmy - a very good point re: what a world number 1 should be. I suppose we are all measuring him up against arguably the greatest golfer of all time and in some respects that is an unfair yardstick to measure him against so early in his career, only time will tell whether or not he can reach those heights. I have also been saying for months that LD deserved his world number 1 title for consistently playing to such a high level and featuring in top 5s......................

  • Comment number 45.

    Right now one would have to admit that Rory is displaying such consistent play at a high level however much of this has been over the golfing "off season" (granted that is changing as more big tournaments feature from October-March, however I still don't really consider this the proper golfing season) it will be interesting to see if he can maintain such consistency as the season progresses and players improve and peak (many are only getting into the "swing" (excuse the pun) of things now. Personally I think he will get tired as the season goes on, I think his commitments are too great in terms of travel between both tours, all the PR nonsense he does and of course back and forth to the Netherlands (and probably Wimbledon!) to see his beloved sweet Caroline. (Woods never had a very busy schedule either in terms of events travel, chosing instead to focus solely on winning major championships (well and the odd visit to a casino or strip club!!))

    Ps. mickeysausage thanks, it's good to be back

  • Comment number 46.

    Jimmy you are right about the Tiger distortion... however if the likes of Iain Carter want to make Rory out to be the next Tiger then this is the type of reaction that happens.

    He is not as good as Tiger was at his age FACT.. he will probably never achieve what Tiger or Jack have done and to be fair would do well to emulate Phil or Faldo

    Really what needs to happen is the BBC need to stop building hype just look what happened after the US Open!!

  • Comment number 47.

    All Hail Jeffkenna! A propper blog post!

  • Comment number 48.

    @Evmondo - He is not as good as Tiger was at his age FACT..

    Nobody probably ever will be

  • Comment number 49.

    @11 Evmondo - it's no wonder BiloMcT doesn't come on this blog any more when you accuse him of things like that!!

  • Comment number 50.

    That's why I moved here and that's why I stay here, they love their sports in the USA only perhaps like the Australians do. No tall poppy syndrome here. Of course they like to see there own win, but unlike the UK it isn't the be all and end all if there country man doesn't win. They are not ashamed here to support a foreigner and can be quite open about it.

  • Comment number 51.

    Jimmy - I raise the question of you golfing prowess as you stated 'Nah, Micky knows what he's talking about most of the time Evmondo, doesnt they cant be the same person'. I thought you must be an expert

    Anyway to disagree is fine my points have been made to say there are many good golfers but they do not get the publicity McIlroy does yet he has achieved only slight more if at all.

    For the record I think the world number 1 slot is only a number at the moment there is no stand out player at the moment and to really be the world number one you should and used to need multiple majors.. that at the end of the day is what its all about MAJORS

  • Comment number 52.

    What happened after the US Open?? He won another 2 events before the end of the season. I'd take that.

    Rory would do well to emulate Phil or Faldo but in terms of where he is relative to them at the same stage of their career he's ahead of them.

    And this is a blog, Its a personal opionion piece, its not about the BBC building people up, Its about Iain Carter writing what he thinks. Which in this case isnt saying that Rory Mcilroy is the next Tiger or Jack. I think that you have read something into the piece that isnt there if thats what you think its saying

  • Comment number 53.

    @ mickysausage and evmondo: your contributions on this blog have often been posted very near each other, plus I don't think Evmondo really hit the nail on the head, did he...I still believe you're one and the same.

    @ 52 Jimmy I think Rory has more than a 50/50 chance of emulating Faldo or Phil, don't you think?

  • Comment number 54.

    Got to agree with Voldy. Mop Top will match Faldo so long as He doesn't get too distracted by caroline and jealous of Robert "worth it" Rock.

  • Comment number 55.

    @Evmondo, if it is all about majors as you state, then why are you getting so irrate on a blog after a WGC matchplay?
    Surely this wouldn't interest you, and you'll only be keen on posting in about April time?

  • Comment number 56.

    LV - I'd say probably, Over the last 2 years he has but himself in contention to win half of the majors he's played. If he keeps up that kind of record then he should win a good handful. I think he doesneed to actually start playing better over a weekend though, that is one criticism thats a fair one.

    Paul Mcginley raised an interesting point about Westwoods putting but you could apply it to Rory as well. Because they are such good players from tee to green it means that they give themselves more makable birdie chances, so naturally they will miss more. I'm not saying this means that they are actually great on the greens but its worth thinking about.

  • Comment number 57.

    Hey new blogger here. Enjoy reading the blog and Consequential debates that follow.

    Great win for Mahan, it was well deserved over the week.

    Although Rory has won a major, I still believe he is developing as a golfer. His potential is frightening though. Will be so interesting to see what he can do in the masters this year, course is perfect for his game. Could run away with it and actually finish the job this time.

  • Comment number 58.

    Evmondo...i am the resident idiot of this Blog. You should go away.

    What about Westwood choking again. Rory showed him up in that Match. Can anyone seriously answer what has Westwood actually won in terms of a big tournament?! he always chokes when he's with big boys. he should stick to the minor tournaments around Asia to pick up his easy wins.

    What does everyone think of the amount of Belly Putters on show again last week? i swear they are taking over.

    jeffkenna, i am glad you are back. been terrible on here without some good old schoolers!

  • Comment number 59.

    sumo82 I am not irrate I just find the over-reactions ridiculous, not just in golf and tennis.

    Look at how Sky and the BBC report Liverpools Carling Cup win.. this is the start of many major trophies etc etc.. reality is they beat a championship side on penalties, have not won the league for 20 plus years have an average squad and have been poor in the Premier League all season

    McIlroy is a good and potentially great young golfer, but not great or the best in the world YET....

    And yes it is all about Majors and that is why Donald and Westwood do not deserve to be number 1 either

  • Comment number 60.

    Who do you think does deserve to be World number 1?

  • Comment number 61.

    BiloMcT - you are right about one thing!

  • Comment number 62.

    @60 - Jack Nicklaus

  • Comment number 63.

    Jimmy - from my view no-one is the true standout number one at the moment.

    I personally think the most likely guy to win majors is Phil and he is probably the one that most of the top pros would fear going head to head with on a Sunday but he is number 11 in the world!

    Go through the top 10 and only Rory and Kaymer have majors and I think that tells you all you need to know about the ranking system. Would Phil fear any of the others?

    If Rory picks up a few wins and another major major this year then he will deserve top spot, but watch out for a certain Mr Woods also.

  • Comment number 64.

    @59 - Thats just the nature of journalism, they have to glammourise a story to grab your attention, otherwise we'd just have the news at ten.
    Sky have been doing it for years to sell their product and get people excited or riled up. Any human with a brain knows that it isn't the start of something great at Liverpool. As the sorcerer once told me 'don't believe everything you read'
    (either him or his dad!)

  • Comment number 65.

    @Evmondo - Who should be world number 1 then???
    There has to be somebody at the top, even in your ranking system, but you seemed to have ruled out everybody because nobody is doing what Tiger did Ten years ago?

  • Comment number 66.

    Listen Guys all this Mcilroy talk is boring, there is only one person who builds the atmosphere up to every tournament he plays in and thats Tiger Woods, who do you think people will be paying for there Honda tickets to go and watch? Who do you think people will be tuning into there Tv's to watch in the Honda? Who do you think Sky, Fox, Cbs etc etc will be glad is playing in this tournament for viewing sake? Yes its all about Tiger Woods! It dawned on me a few weeks ago and i cant remember what tournament it was but it was the 3rd or 4th round and Tiger wasnt in the last group, he was about 2 holes in front and people were lining the fairways on his hole which i think was the 16th and the leading group were on the 14th green with about 6 people watching! Without Tiger golf will lose its excitement and personality!

  • Comment number 67.

    I think i'm getting a confused message from Evmondo.

    Either he's saying that because nobody is miles better than everyone else then nobody really deserves it, in wich case i guess the system should be scrapped. Or that it should be Mickleson, based on 2 weeks good golf (And 2 years scratchy golf prior to that) and Fear, if we are basing it on fear then make Skeletor No1.

    Its not true and never has been that winning majors was ever the decisive factor in rankings, if it was the Woosnam and Duval wouldnt have made it to number 1 when they did.

  • Comment number 68.


    Really cant argue against that. Although he aint my favourite golfer I still find myself captivated whenever he plays. He is the biggest sports star of our generation, like him or not.

  • Comment number 69.

    evmondo is like the guy in the pub with no mates who after a few drinks starts mouthing off about sports he doesn't fully understand and who everyone wishes would jog on.

    listen to bilo mate. this village already has its idiot.

  • Comment number 70.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 71.

    @70 PG

    You did what????? Mickysausage won't be happy when he reads that.

  • Comment number 72.

    PG !!!! I don't believe for one minute that powerhitter would do that to a goat!
    You should be ashamed.

  • Comment number 73.


    It great to see Rory bring so much excitment to golf. The last time I was this excited was back in 1997 when Tiger won his first major and started dominating the sport.

    Rory right now is a far greater draw in golf then anyone else...hes the best player in the world...he has the best most natural swing and he is a very nice kid.

    Tiger move over...theres a new king in town!

  • Comment number 74.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 75.

    james mathew - what do you think of the accusation that mickysausage made against you at #39? Do you think that kind of language is acceptable?

    Rory's game may be in much better shape than Tiger's right now, but he could never be decribed as a bigger draw that Woods.

  • Comment number 76.

    PG, to be fair the Whiteford incident was just bad luck. There really wasn't anything that he could have done about it. The Tour should have been able to look at the footage and give him an answer before signing his card.

  • Comment number 77.

    Powerhitter, Rory is a bigger draw but he has a nasty habit of turning it into a snap hook.

    Has someone been complaining again?? I predict another sausage resignation threat

  • Comment number 78.

    i like scotland

    it was only a joke


  • Comment number 79.

    @66 .....micky....dude, you just elaborated exactly my point that i made at the end of the last blog, but it closed. Just close examination of the viewing/spectating when TW was out for virtually the last 2 years says it all.
    The ranking system is always going to cause a debate, personally i think it could be looked at to some extent, but it is (as it stands) a pretty fair system that rewards consistant golf. I mean LD got to number 1 by being in the top 10 of events consistantly, and i think rory will get that acclaim very shortly. How long he will stay there is a different matter though.
    Looking forward to the honda this week, high class field & one of the toughest stops on the pga tour.

  • Comment number 80.

    Why is everyone so anti- McIlroy he is not even no 1 yet? Although he will be in the near futre ! McIlroy is a extremely talented golfer but imo needs to win more comps from the winning positions he get himself into to be worthy of number 1!!

  • Comment number 81.

    Notable groups for the honda on thursday, Woods, Westwood, Poulter in the afternoon.
    Mcilroy, Stanley, Bradley in the morning

  • Comment number 82.

    Matte how did you do on the prediction league did any of yours reach the last 4?
    As for Tiger he is showing signs of his best and will get better wiyh more tournaments under his belt.
    As for Rory yeah great player still a bit dodgy at times on the greens certainly no where near Woods at his best.
    Mahan deserved the win played well interesting thing for me was that all the big hitters ie woodland Bubba johnson who you would expect to do well didnt.
    And Well done Westy as usual the choke tag comes out which is rubbish, he played really well and just seemed to run out of steam a bit towards the end of his games.

  • Comment number 83.

    Rory is adored by the Americans because he plays attacking and exciting golf in the mould of Seve, Palmer, Mickelson.
    His US Open win was majestic and as good as anything Tiger achieved.
    Oddly it's the non-Americans who are more reticent about Rory.
    However it is about who wins the Majors that really counts and with one under his belt it will be interesting to see how he handles Augusta National in April.
    For those that still hold a candle for Woods I really think that they are misguided.
    He's lost the magic, the ability to close out matches and his disconnect with the reality of how he thinks he's playing to what he does on the course is just beyond belief.
    I thought he would stroll past Jacks's Majors record but now he, at best, might just limp past.
    The future belongs to the emerging talent as it does in all sports and Rory, right now, is at the vanguard.

  • Comment number 84.

    Btw for those u think that mcilroy didnt deserve to get to the final they r talking rubbish. He beat 2 potential bananna skins in george coatzee and andres hanson, then he knocked out jimenez a proven player in match play golf who had beaten a resurgent garcia and keegan bradly the pga champion and if that isnt enough for you, he beat bae who was playing brilliantly during the week knocking out schwartzel the masters champ and poulter a previous winner. Then after that he beat a regular ryder cup player and world no3 westwood!! So i think his place in the final was pretty justifiable!! mattefc intresting draw woods westwood and poulter should be a good one, be intresting to see how poulter handles the pressure that comes with playing with those two as its been a very disapointing last 12 months for him.

  • Comment number 85.

    evmondo, ro say Mcilroy has no chance at the open, is quite clearly a dumb statement . he was third two years ago. holds the course record at royal portrush. a very tuff links ocurse ahd hold the OPEN record for an openiing round . he WILL wiin the OPEN this year I am very confiident of it.. to say no chance is really really dumb

  • Comment number 86.

    davey, im hoping the league table goes into admin (lol), I had Watney & Stricks in the last 16 (i think), but im going to still be propping up that table.
    That brings me to this week, very tough course, wind really gets up, very difficult par 3's & 5's!! I dont think i will be picking Rory though.....Sabbatini that is, even though he is defending!! Yang has played well here before, so he will defo be one of mine.

  • Comment number 87.

    mm rory dont like the wind does not favour his high trajectory. But would never pick sabbatini cant stand the arrogant fool.

  • Comment number 88.

    Karlwbrown....mcilroy has said he doesnt think he can win an open if the wind blows....which it will! So i think he lacks a bit of confidence...

  • Comment number 89.

    if its down to majors and WGC's does donald deserve iit . he diidnt win at all until he was twenty seven, has never won a big one and only last year at thirty two did he win a WGC in the view of many on here he would be a journey man pro/ lets get real McIlroy IS the real deal. he is by far the most consistent player right now and at twenty two is still only a youngster in golf terms. Manessaro will be good but hiis length will hold him back ultimately..and who is talkiing Jason Day anymore,,riight no one. had a few good weekends but really ...

  • Comment number 90.

    I think too much has been made of the Mcilroy quote about playing in the wind, It came immediately after a poorish round in ferocious conditions, they were tough, even by normal Open Championship standards. It was a heat of the moment comment. He's played well on the links before and i'm sure will do so again. As for winning it? Time will tell.

  • Comment number 91.

    The fact is whether people like it or not, Rory Mcilroy is the most exciting British golfer at the moment, closely followed by LW and LD.

    This is a British website, targeted to the British public, so it is completely fair and just for most of the reporting to be biased towards British players.

    There are of course exciting golfers from all over the world, I particularly like Dustin Johnson and would love to see him win a major this year, but I am also very happy to read about Mcilroy, Westwood, etc on a regular basis on this site.

    I also think that no matter what statistics people come up with, Mcilroy is probably the most talked about golfer on the planet at the moment, both in the UK and the US (along with the rest of the world), and there is no smoke without fire.

    Most of the pro's on both tours are tipping Mcilroy to go on to great things, and they know more than me, so i'll believe them until they're proved wrong

  • Comment number 92.

    @84..underseige....Its been spoken about before on here dude with regards to Poulter, I have said on a few occasions he seems to be obsessed with marketing his wardrobe over concentrating on his golf. He will really enjoy that group and maybe thats what he needs because he is going backwards in my opinion. Quite right about Rory also, very silly of him to say he doesn't like the conditions of an open!!
    @87 davey, I also have no time for that man. Im looking to see how TW plays as he handled the wind very well down under and really had control of his golf ball. Hopefully got that blocked putting sorted as well!!

  • Comment number 93.

    90.... You raise i good point but i just think he will know what he said was a mistake (like his comment on the ryder cup being an exhibition match) and it will be in his head come the open . The media will pick up on it again and he will be under immense pressure...

  • Comment number 94.

    Mclroy by his own admission is a fair weather golfer and hence he is playing more in the us as the courses and weather suit his style. He is smart enough to admit this and knows his own game. Time will tell if he will become a great of the game but one thing he has plenty of is time he is only 23 but seems to have been around ages.
    The thing is on the big stage he has proved he is up to the job and will no doubt win more majors.It would be good to see Kamer at his best and Rory go head to head as Kaymer is still only 27 I think so again has time on his side.

  • Comment number 95.

    Whether your a Tiger fan or not the guy single handidly made golf what it is today. Without him the press would not be interested in golf and Rory would def not get the attention he gets. Woods at his best would take rory on no problem as he was a much better putter and like Seve played shots that other people could not see let alone play.
    Hope Tiger goes well this week and can string four good rounds together as four of his good rounds will put him right in the mix.

  • Comment number 96.

    Just on the wind thing with regards to Rory, I think he could no worse than watch TW 3 open wins. I watched TW the whole weekend at Hoylake in 2006 and he hardly used the driver, he played for positions and ultimitely got the win.
    @94 davey... There is credence to what your saying , but i think Kaymer is a 1 major wonder in the making, i have not seen anything since the pga win that makes me think he can win more majors.

  • Comment number 97.

    I felt sorry for Rory, he put in a great performance in the semi and that drained him for the final. Take nothing away from Mahan, he played well, but if Rory had played as well in the final as in the semi he would have blown Mahan away.

    He's earned the Americans support and I'm sure he will soon take the number 1 spot, the question is how long can he keep it for?

    I also can't wait to see a Westwood vs Mcilroy showdown in a major this year.

  • Comment number 98.

    Why does everyone believe westwood has a chance at winning a major !? He is still a great golfer and will challenge and win titles throughout the year but a major is completly different and i dont think he could handle the pressure leading on the final day. Also to win a major you do need an element of luck which unfortunately i dont think he will get. Donald on the other hand is destined to win augusta with his short game... Just hope he gets a good run of form leading up to the tournament. I can see donald v mcilroy for a major happening more than a mcilroy v westwood tbh

  • Comment number 99.

    Evmondo at 17 - what are you on about? I would rather watch paint dry than Keegan Bradley take forever on every shot, squint like fury at every putt and then anchor his overgrown putter into his stomach and waft it at the ball. oh and that's without him allegedly spitting all over the place. He's not in the same class as McIlroy who has the best swing, ball striking and aggressive game seen for many a long year. McIlroy might have only won 5 times, but he destroyed the world's best at the US Open and no-one has won that event by more shots than Mr Woods in his prime. The world rankings tell you who is the most consistent player in the world over a period of 2 years, so it doesn't lie. but if you asked 100 fans pros and commentators who they would rather watch, McIlroy would probably be top of the list, with Bradley languishing far behind.

  • Comment number 100.

    @98...undersiege....Do you honestly believe that LD can win a major??? Because i think he has missed the boat big time the last 2 years, given that he has got to be world number 1???? He is already looking iffy to me this season and is losing points rapidly. Im not saying he is bad golfer but i just dont see a major in him!


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