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McIlroy eyeing long-term 'Rory glory'

Iain Carter | 09:18 UK time, Monday, 5 March 2012

New world number one Rory McIlroy has the potential to dominate golf for years to come.

Very few players make it to the top of the rankings. McIlroy is only the 16th in the 24 years that golfing status has been officially measured.

In the short term there may be occasions when he will be toppled from top spot because of the congested nature of the rankings, but aged just 22 he seems destined to spend many weeks as golf's top man.

The youngster from Northern Ireland fulfilled his childhood dream just seven days after missing his first chance of hitting golf's summit. That tells you all you need to know about his star quality and competitive instincts.

At the very first opportunity, after losing the WGC Match Play final to Hunter Mahan, McIlroy conquered a quality field on a tough PGA National Course in West Palm Beach, repelling a fierce Tiger Woods charge in the process.

Woods proved he wants to reclaim his number one status with his inspired 62. To do that, though, he will need to win majors for the first time since 2008 and show a McIlroy-like level of consistency.

McIlroy is the third player from the UK to reach number one in the last 18 months. Photo: Getty

Victory in the Honda Classic has capped an astonishing run. The European Ryder Cup star has played 11 tournaments since finishing 64th, when plagued by a self-inflicted wrist injury, at last August's PGA Championship.

In that time McIlroy has won twice, finished second four times, third twice and only once finished outside the top five. That was when he was eleventh at the Dubai World Championship while suffering from Dengue Fever.

He must now be regarded as a short-odds favourite for next month's Masters, an event he led by four strokes heading into last year's tumultuous final round. The US Open Champion is a completely different player to the one who blew it on the back nine at Augusta 11 months ago.

Indeed, McIlroy has impressed at every stage of his career. "He's going to win a lot of majors," Jack Nicklaus told us last week. "What a nice player."

Commentating on NBC, Johnny Miller told American golf fans: "The freedom of his swing is what is so impressive. He's like a young Seve in the way that he plays."

At the other end of the experience spectrum, Tour newcomer Harris English offered an insight into how McIlroy is regarded by his peers. "I've watched him play the last couple of years. He's got a great game," the American youngster said.

"I think he's the best player in the world right now, hands down. He's very impressive."

Just as striking as the quality of McIlroy's golf is the way he has accelerated through a dramatic learning curve to develop into a player mature beyond his years.

"It's not just the golf you have to deal with," said the player, who turns 23 on 4 May. "It's everything that goes on the outside of that. It's something I feel I'm a lot more comfortable with."

Those off-course demands are going to multiply given his new status as the world's best player. More television cameras and microphones will chase his every move, sponsors will be wanting a piece of him too and will offer big bucks for the privilege.

It represents a huge challenge for his new Dublin-based management company. They have the experience of impressively handling Graeme McDowell's shock 2010 US Open win - but this scenario is a much bigger deal.

Succeeding McDowell as US Open Champion in such spectacular style last June changed McIlroy's life forever. No longer could the hometown boy with the local girlfriend regularly visit Belfast's nightspots with his mates.

Initially he struggled to handle the new pressures and was dogged by controversy throughout last summer.

He brusquely suggested he wouldn't change his game to try to win an Open after disappointing in the wind and rain of Sandwich.

He rowed on Twitter with Jay Townsend in defence of his caddie and took on a ridiculously dangerous shot early in his first round of the PGA that led to the injury that undermined his challenge in the final major of 2011.

McIlroy split with his longtime girlfriend Holly Sweeney and started dating top tennis star Caroline Wozniacki. Then came the split from the Chubby Chandler ISM agency that had nurtured his career since turning pro in 2007.

As Greg Norman acknowledged last week, linking up with Wozniacki has hugely benefitted McIlroy's career.

It has helped reinforce a desire to be as tough a competitor as possible and boost fitness levels to make him a genuine athlete. From being somewhat loose-limbed and chubby faced, McIlroy's look and build is now more akin to an international scrum-half.

A few weeks ago he admitted that he has become addicted to his gym work, which is in stark contrast to his teenage years when he saw no need to go anywhere near a dumbbell.

His punishing fitness regime has undoubtedly helped make him a better and more resilient golfer. He is now taking his first steps in fulfilling a youthful promise that suggested he could become golf's next dominant force and his Honda Classic win can only embolden him.

Now he has acquired a game that can triumph whatever the weather. He had to contend with tricky winds throughout the weekend in West Palm Beach.

Just as impressive, he has learned the art of winning even when the swing is out of synch.

In the final round at PGA National, he holed pressure putt after pressure putt in the knowledge that the world number one ranking was on the line. It was also done amid the hullaballoo of Woods firing a 62 to snatch the clubhouse lead.

Responding as he did was the hallmark of a player worthy of topping the world rankings. McIlroy is the third player in a row from the United Kingdom to stand at the summit of the game.

For Lee Westwood and then Luke Donald, making it to number one is a thoroughly deserved and a colossal achievement. Despite what some critics contend, these standings are an accurate reflection of the world.

But McIlroy's accession feels different. Four and a half years ago he was 876 in the world, fourteen months later he was into the top fifty. By 2009 he had made it to the top ten and now ruthlessly he has snatched top spot.

Only 14-time major champion Woods did it at a younger age and that precipitated a prolonged period of utter domination.

It would be foolhardy in the extreme to predict McIlroy matching Tiger's feats, but it certainly feels as though we are now into a potentially lengthy era of Rory glory.

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Comments

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  • Comment number 1.

    Great day's golf yesterday. Really impressed with McIlory, not because he played incredible golf but because he did what he had to do under the pressure. He's been accused of not winning tournaments that he could/should have but he put that right yesterday.

    Things are so close at the top of the rankings it's hard to say for sure he'll hold on to top spot for a long time.

    I disagree with Iain Carter that he'll be the short-odds favourite for the Masters though - I guarantee that every bookie will have Tiger as their favourite.

  • Comment number 2.

    DON247 - HUMBLE PIE???

    Well done to Rory for an great victory, and what about Tiger's final round- wow!

  • Comment number 3.

    Also, Don247 must be eating some serious humble pie this morning after his trashing of young Rory (his self-confessed protégé) on the very eve of his victory, dismissing his swing tempo, short game and putting stroke under the 'white-hot heat' of a Sunday afternoon.

  • Comment number 4.

    @powerhitter, completely agree. Hopefully he won't come back to post such ignorant views anytime soon.

  • Comment number 5.

    Well done Rory - as Iain said above, his claiming of golfs ranking summit feels different to Westwoods, Kaymers and Donalds. Provided he doesn't get injured and stays focused, I think he'll be there a looooong old time.

    Also, how refreshing was it to see a proper Tiger charge for the first time in ages? That 2nd shot on the 18th last night, coupled with the reaction of the crowd, gave me goosebumps. I sincerely hope this is a proper return to form for him, and not just a glimpse of the player he used to be. If he can find himself again and keep it there for a few years, I'm convinced the battles between him and McIlroy in the future will go down as the stuff of legend.

  • Comment number 6.

    Don274....EAT THAT! :) What can you say now? hahaha...im laughing at your face right now.

    What a win...Rory showed great composure over the final holes even though he wasnt swinging his irons that well...what bottle and nerve...the signs of a true champion.

    And finally we have a real world number 1!
    Golf is back!

  • Comment number 7.

    @6 james mathew wrote:
    Don274....EAT THAT! :) What can you say now? hahaha...im laughing at your face right now.

    But you are Don274, so you're actually laughing in your own face!!

  • Comment number 8.

    Yes, the way he won (without his A game and with TW on fire and closing in) suggests he can stay at or near the top of the rankings for many years.

  • Comment number 9.

    After the amount of grief everyone gave Iain last week about bigging up Rory so much I imagine Iain wrote this blog entry with a wry smile on his face.

    I too hope Tiger is back it would be so good to see two golfers on top form fighting it out rather than just one dominating, Westwood also had a good final round and its looking like its all setup perfectly for Augusta, I can't wait.

  • Comment number 10.

    I was sat watching it last night - and we all know how different a Sunday afternoon is to the other 3 days of play

    He holed some immense pressure par putts yesterday - from positions he had no right to get up and down from

    that was just as great to watch as his towering irons and his booming drives.

    Great stuff

    also a nod for TW - amazing round and the lowest round he has ever shot in the final round of a PGA tournament- surely a stat that proves he has a lot left to give to himself and the game of golf

    roll on next week!!

  • Comment number 11.

    It was great to see Westwood do what he does best...plays himself out of the tournament so there is no pressure on him to win and then produces a fantastic last round to finish near the top. It only that man have McIlroys nerve he would have 5 majors won by now.

    Go Rory! Well done my good friend.

  • Comment number 12.

    Its the end of the begining, now we can sit back and watch the whole career unfold. Its easy to think that it is all about natural talent but this kid works his nuts off. good luck to him. Talent and work ethic all in one self assured polite young man.A total credit to his parents, family and Northern Ireland..

  • Comment number 13.

    I think the biggest part of Rory's game that excites me is his ability to stay in contention in tournaments when he is not playing well.
    I don't think Rory would say he has played all that well the last few weeks, but he's hung in there and finished 2nd and 1st.
    On the back 9 yesterday - there was a lot of pressure on him. He missed most of the greens, but got up and down each time, meaning he could stroll down the 18th and take no risks.
    While the likes of Donald, Westwood, Kaymer, McDowell have all had a good couple of years I think they will probably admit they only compete when they are playing well. If they are struggling with something, it affects the rest of their game & they don't really put a score together.
    Coming home yesterday, Rory looked unflappable and I think there is every chance he will be at the top for a long time.

  • Comment number 14.

    I would like to see Rory down the back nine level with Phil or Tiger and see how he reacts to one of them shooting a low number like TW did yesterday or Phils 31 back nine in the masters

    do people think he will be able to compete in high scoring under pressure?

    im not saying what he did yesterday is not a huge acheivement and im not knocking Rory just asking a question.....

  • Comment number 15.

    @11 - a real number 1? LOL. How has Luke Donald or Lee Westwood not been a real number 1. Because they haven't won majors?

    They were consistently the best players week in week out so they deserved that position.

    It will be interesting to see how long Rory stays there. The look of Tiger yesterday was awesome and he is going to be right back up there sooner rather than later.

  • Comment number 16.

    Don't bother with Tiger comparisons, he's already too late. Lets not forget that he's been on your now for 5 years. 5 years! Tiger was world number one after one year as a pro and won 7 times in the US alone before his second year on tour.

  • Comment number 17.

    No one will ever do what Tiger did and Rory wont win 14 majors by the age of 36.
    I hope Tiger is back now for good...what an amazing last round...if he keeps that up himself and Rory will have some year battling it out.

    11 starts and 10 top 5 finishes...this kid is special!

  • Comment number 18.

    The fact that virtually all his peers [fellow professionals] are now openly saying McIlroy is the best player in the world right now says it all really. Not sure why some people ssem to be keen to knock him for 'only' being the second best golfer in history at the age of 22, statistically speaking. Seems a fine achievement to me, and the fact he is British is just great. Well done Rory!

  • Comment number 19.

    @16. I dont disagree that Tiger had accomplished a lot more by this stage of his career. Nor do I believe that Rory has the killer instinct Tiger has.

    What I would like to ask though is do people believe, as I do, that it is now much more difficult to get to the top than it was say 10 years ago? I feel the depth of all tournaments is much greater now. There are far more players capable of winning. It takes prolonged excellence to get into the top 10 even rather than one tournament victory and may a few top tens here and there.

    As I say I am not trying to denegrate Tiger's achievements. He has won many more tournaments than I believe Rory will. However, do we look upon Rory's accomplishments against a different backdrop?

  • Comment number 20.

    I love how so many people that wrote of Tiger are suddenly changing their tune and I thought football fans were fickle. GO TIGER!!!

  • Comment number 21.

    Well Done Rory, another step taken. Success is a journey not a destination and you are on the right path. Savour the moment as will the very proud people in Ireland today, our first ever World Ranked number one golfer.

    Consider how Rory continues to learn from experience. What a close out. What confidence that will bring with Tiger on the leaderboard too. Can't wait for the next instalment....

    Come on Rors.

  • Comment number 22.

    World No 1 for McIlroy; great stuff. It is easier to get to the top than stay on top; let's hope his reign will longer than the recent No 1's. Tiger was phenomenal; a few putts could have changed the result. But let's see going forward.

  • Comment number 23.

    Why are people supporting tiger???wow he did a good round, but hes still winless.
    Hes a horrible human being and should be judged for that.

    Plus he often spits and swaers on the golf course, throws clubs etc.

    Rory mccilroy is in a much more competive era, and has far more natural ability thanb tiger woods. Better swing, hits it further, anda all round more appealing guy.

    Anyone that actually likes tiger woods needs their headsa checking.

  • Comment number 24.

    @19 it's not harder now, I disagree with that. Have a proper look at the top ten lists from the past few years. Even right now, for instance. Jason Day 4th? Hunter Mahan (1 victory takes you from 22nd to 10th). It still rewards playing often. I mean, Graeme Macdowell at 15th - what has he done to warrant that high a ranking? Martin Kaymer?

    I think people are miss-remembering the climate when Tiger started. He was just vastly better at winning than any of them, and in 2000 led the your in virtually all stats categories. You've got at least 10 nailed on hall-of-fame players from the same era.

    The thing now is that anyone can win, but I don't think that's a funciton of depth. If you take this year on the Pga tour as a whole, Rory shouldn't have won yesterday. It took all of the players within a realistic chance of the lead playing badly for him to do so. He missed over 50% of the greens and got pretty lucky on the closing stretch. Every other tournament this year someone has had a decent final round and won. If anything, there are far fewer good front-runners than there used to be. The 5 first tournaments of the year have been won by total capitulations by the leader. That's not a sign of depth, that's a sign of people not knowing how to win.

  • Comment number 25.

    Man, slow-hand-clap for number 23! I wish people would only talk about golf if they, you know, know anything about golf. Get your opinions from Ewan Murray and Bruce Critchley? *shudder*

  • Comment number 26.

    Rory should handle the number one tag with style and grace, unlike the surly Woods.
    Couldn't help but notice Woods signing autographs for fans accompanied by his familiar scowl.
    How do so many people root for this guy?

  • Comment number 27.

    @ LV, JM, PH

    Do you expect Don to eat humble pie? I expect either another extended silence or for him to come back claiming that Rory took on board his "Constructive criticims" and is all the better for it. That is if he stays true to the form of the previous Tiger bashings.

    It was slightly concerning to see Rory's long game suffer over the course of the final round however the composure on and arround the greens couldnt have contrased more with the youngster who inexplicably 4 putted the 12th at Augusta a year ago. His short game wasnt just good by his standards, it was good by anyones standards.

    Great final round for Tiger. Last week i thought was a step back for him, this week was definatly 2 steps forward, although it would be foolish to totally ignore the 1st 3 rounds which whilst not destructive left him so far behind that even a staggering final round wasnt enough for the win. However the confidence that he will have gained from that last round means that next week for the 1st time i wouldnt be confident predicting against a Woods win

  • Comment number 28.

    @27 I think the thing about Tiger's round is that it really is just a matter of time. He finished 2 shots back, but by my count missed at least 12 putts inside 8 feet. His long game at the Honda was the best in the field by all accounts - even the stats show he was first in total driving (a function of distance against accuracy - 1st in distance, 8th in accuracy, T3 GIR). It really was just a putting thing. :)

  • Comment number 29.

    @1 - Power Hitter
    I disagree with Iain Carter that he'll be the short-odds favourite for the Masters though - I guarantee that every bookie will have Tiger as their favourite.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I guarantee you that Woods won't be favourite. Rory will be favourite at all major bookies at odds of around 5 or 6/1. Woods will be out at around 8 or 9's.

  • Comment number 30.

    @24 What has Grame Mcdowell done to warrant 15th position in the world rankings???

    Are you serious? He won the US Open for goodness sake, earning WR points which still count towards his overall ranking. Plus he won a bunch of other tournaments in 2010. Admittedly he hasn't won since then but that's why he's 15th, and not 4th as he was at his peak. Get a grip.

  • Comment number 31.

    @24 utopastac - yesterday did buck the trend on the Tour this year by the 3rd round leader winning, but then the 3rd round leaders in the other events weren't top 10 players, never mind top 3. What McIlory could do was get it round in a good score while not playing his best stuff. Other guys this year couldn't handle the situation for one reason or another.

    It was a bit of a strange tournament though, the course seemed to yield 62s, 63s, 64s but the winning score was only -12. Nobody else seemed to have consistency.

  • Comment number 32.

    @ 19

    Top 10 in year 2000-

    Tiger Woods
    Ernie Else
    David Duval
    Phil Mickleson
    Lee Westwood
    Monty
    Davis Love III
    Hal Sutton
    Vijay Singh
    Tom Lehman

    Are you saying the current top 10 this morning are better than that crop of legends?????

  • Comment number 33.

    gd - quick look at William Hill's shows that Tiger and Rory joint favourite at 9/2. Ladbrokes both at 5/1.

    Seems like we're both right (and wrong).

  • Comment number 34.

    You cannot compare Rory to the greatest golfer (arguably) the game has ever seen (based on talent not character)

    Give the lad time he will be a hall of famer barring injury

    go ROry!

  • Comment number 35.

    @ 29 - Correct.

    Great weekend of Golf. Congratulations to Rory, well deserved win and no suprise he is top of the rankings. The boy is a class act. Also great to see Woods play some sublime stuff, I really hope we can see a nice wee rivalry develop between those 2 in the future.

    @23- Cringing at these comments. Far more natural ability than Woods? How can you justify this?

  • Comment number 36.

    @35 - incorrect. Check the bookies for yourself.

  • Comment number 37.

    Finally an Irish world number 1 ... fantastic achievement.
    Well done Rory McIlroy!

  • Comment number 38.

    @36

    Yep you are right. Really thought they would have Rory out there all alone. Suppose the bookies aint daft, hang Tiger up at decent price and watch the money flood in.

  • Comment number 39.

    james mathew, you're not going to have anything to blog about now that Luke Donald isn't No.1 anymore?

    Whoever said that Rory has more talent than Tiger needs to get real. Talent's not just a golf swing, it's a putting stroke, short game, imagination, mental strength etc. I'm not running Rory down in any way, but he's got a long way to go (at least another 10 majors!) before comparisons with Tiger are realsitic.

  • Comment number 40.

    @ 32

    the point I was making wasn't regarding the top 10. Naturally you would expect that to be filled with pretty good players at any point in time, altho I accept the current top 10 isn't full of major winners. It is the relative strength of say the top 50 I am trying to get at. There are a lot of tournament winners now who are not even in this group.

    It is my view that there is greater depth now than there was 10 years ago, but i'm guessing not all are likely to agree.

  • Comment number 41.

    Well done to rory mcilroy, the way he held himself together yesterday shows how much he has matured as a player and as a man, a fantastic victory made all the more sweeter because of his resilliance to the TW surge, he really was focused and coolness personified.
    I have to say well done to Mr woods aswell though, he struck the ball like he used to in that final round. (I have a suspicion that rory's ascent to the top will only make woods more determined and dedicated to competing and winning tournaments, I really hope so anyway).
    And a final mention has to go to Tom Gillis, I was chuffed he tied for second with a great birdie putt on the 18th. Well done that man!!! true journeyman who deserved his reward.
    A great tournament and I simply cant wait for The Masters!!!

  • Comment number 42.

    Last nights win was more important for Rory than winning the US Open.

    He has shown that he can handle pressure-cooker situations and come out the other side the winner, a huge mental breakthrough that will hold him in good stead.

    There was something very "Tigereqsue" about his performance yesterday. He made very few errors, gave away the one shot (which he immediately got back) and basically illustrated to the rest of the field,

    "You want to beat me, you'll have to shoot a low number because I'm not giving you any freebies"

    This in turn, means the rest of the field have to start chasing Sunday pins to make up ground and ultimately make mistakes. Tiger VERY rarely shoots a low score on Sunday, because he had the 54 hole lead every time! Rory can adopt this method also, he has the game to bring any course to it's knees the first 3 days and sit back and let the rest of the field go "Gung-Ho" to beat him.

    If Rory can realise that "The 5 minute buzz of pulling off a high risk shot is nothing compared to the satisfaction of picking up the trophy and winners cheque...."

    He will become unstoppable.

  • Comment number 43.

    @ 40

    you are correct in that I am not likely to agree

    If you think of the players in the top 50 10 years ago you are still not going to have the same level of class you do now.

    Again im not running Rory down to get to No. 1 at any time is an immense achievement

    TW will be a victim of his own success in this sort of comparison because he blew everybody away.

    There is no comparison to be had......yet

  • Comment number 44.

    #powerhitter

    I think Luke will have something to say at this weeks tournament world championship. Should be interesting because Lee, Rory and Tiger are all playing fantastic golf.

  • Comment number 45.

    @39

    It puzzles as well. To claim the Rory is better because he is a better human being is just ludicrous. He has a very long way to go before he can be compared to Tiger the Great Golfer, being a great human being is nothing to do with it.

  • Comment number 46.

    @43 -

    dont think I wrote that correctly

    meant to say 10 years ago top 50 in world would be stronger than today **

  • Comment number 47.

    @28 - Yeah i know it was the Putting that let him down in the 1st 3 rounds. But it has going back to the 2009 PGA, between now and then there have been a few false dawns, this one kinda feels different, it might be a new dawn instead of a false dawn.

    All i was saying is that 3 rounds were mediocre scoring wise and that he played himself out of serious winning contention in that time. You cant say, "yes but it was only his putting because that let him down",because its arguably the most important part of the game.

  • Comment number 48.

    Don247 EXTENDS HIS MOST SINCERE AND WHOLEHEARTED CONGRATULATIONS TO RORY McILROY ON WINNING THE HONDA CLASSIC AND BECOMING THE NEW WORLD #1. FACT!!

  • Comment number 49.

    Don247

    Given your run of trashing players just before they secure significant victories (ala Martin Kaymer and of course your very own protégé), is there any chance you could do a hatchet job on me before my first medal of the season this Saturday?

  • Comment number 50.

    Id love a golf outting with all the bloggers here...see if anyone can actually play.
    I guarantee I would hammer everyone gross...non of this handicap crap.
    Bring it!

  • Comment number 51.

    1st medal of the season already? You must live in sunnier climes than me powerhitter.

    I'm still consoling myself after a 5&4 winter league kicking and putting it down to a lack of practice bobbly greens and an inclement snow shower. We have ages yet until medal season begins in earnest

  • Comment number 52.

    See Rory.

    Rory can wobble.

    Wobble, Rory, wobble.

    See Tiger.

    Tiger can roar.

    See Tiger roar.

    Roar, Tiger, roar.

  • Comment number 53.

    It is more than amusing that Don247 has had to eat some serious humble pie. Also amusing that the Rory haters are still finding ways of doubting Rory... 'haters gonna hate'.

    Well done Rory, deserving number 1 and top lad. By the way, as he himself noted. (Not quoting) - He's not Irish, not British, he is Northern Irish! Top of the world :)

  • Comment number 54.

    I'll challenge you to that James, where do you play? Please don't make me laugh..

  • Comment number 55.

    #52...ya...he wobbled his way right to world number 1 :) and unlike Tiger...he has the players and peoples respect.

  • Comment number 56.

    Glasgow's not that sunny, trust me! I should have qualified my previous statement by saying that it's MY first medal of the year (our club runs then over the winter months) and it's playing off mats and a non-counter!

    Still, I have to start somewhere - the driving range is getting boring.

  • Comment number 57.

    Bring it on gbell...I play outta Brocket Hall Golf Club, Hertfordshire. I play of 1.
    What do you play off?

  • Comment number 58.

    No bother at all James.

    All have to dress as a different golfer though.

    That should keep Bilo happy he can dress as Michelle Wie - he loves wearing a skirt

  • Comment number 59.

    Ah thought you where a Northern Irish boyo! To be honest it doesn't matter whether I say I am off scratch or 20... no way of proving it! Just from the way you where talking I thought you were one of these kids who plays off scratch at the local municipal and thinks he is god haha

  • Comment number 60.

    I'll dress as Duffy Waldorf and rather than meet up i'll just play my own course and post details of my Gross 63 on the blog following the event

  • Comment number 61.

    #59 if im being totally honest I did play off 1 about 5 years ago...im still officially off 1 because I havent played much in the last 5 years but id struggle to play off 10 now I recon. Kids and family life take up all my time now....but if an outting was arranged...it would be funny.

  • Comment number 62.

    haha Don247! Rory showed you didnt he!

    What did everyone think about the amount of Belly Putters on show at the Honda? i thought it was ridiculous. so many.

    We need to get this golf outing arranged. I would win.

  • Comment number 63.

    james mathew, I remember you saying a few months back that you used to play off 25, but had now given up because you couldn't get any lower.

  • Comment number 64.

    James Mathew @6:

    Don't be impolite, there's a good boy. I'm sitting here drinking cups of tea with my late mother (and father) in their old house .... in between playing "Call of Duty" with my Asian boys on the internet!!

    Plus, please run off and sort out the difference between Don274 and Don247 .... you really act and sound like the village idiot most of the time, but I suppose you're somebody's "pride and joy"!

    powerhitter@3 and @49 and Jimmy @27:

    For the record, I have never "trashed" Rory and I have certainly never "bashed" Tiger!!

    FYI I'm now off to prepare the case for prosecution and/or my defence!! (It'll likely be "Bubba +Dustin + Rory Long" I can tell you; you have been forewarned!!)

    P.S. - powerhitter, if you think I'm that bad as a golf analyst, why do you lend me any credence at all? (Mind you, if you cross my palm with silver, I'm sure I'd be able to give you a few tips on how to lower your score/handicap by a stroke or two ... and turn you into a winner like my "most recent clients" - Martin Kaymer and Rory McIlroy!!

  • Comment number 65.

    Rory is the first real #1 since Tiger, but will only solidify his spot with multiple major wins. I can't see that it is possible for him to not win many more majors unless he gets injured, He's just too good.

    Everyone talks about aura and and how Tiger freaked other players because of his aura. Load of rubbish, it's about being too damn good that wins tourneys.

    Rorys iron play in the final round was pretty ordinary for his standard and really he should not have won and we should have seen a play off between Tiger and Grillis. Rorys scrambling was some of the best I have seen especially his saves from the bunkers,and reminded me a little of Tiger.

    As far as favorite for the Masters, lets not forget Phil, Day, Keegan Bradley and a number of other hugely talented golfers out there.

    I think the next decade of golf is going to be fascinating, just a shame Tiger and Phil are not ten years younger.
    Not saying that they are over the hill by a long shot I just question their stamina and physical condition.

  • Comment number 66.

    Don247, I don't think you're that bad a golf analyst at all, but find it funny that some of your recent "subjects" have rather embarrassingly turned things around just after your spotlight was on them.

    Also, come on, that post in the last blog WAS a 'trashing' of Rory!!!

    Any tips greatly appreciated. I've recently read a little of (Dr) Bob Rotella but found him to be somewhat uninspiring.

  • Comment number 67.

    Anyone know where I can get a Wozniacki? New, not used.

  • Comment number 68.

    #powerhitter lol...funny.

    #64 Don264 woooo....someone is touchy today...did we hit a nerve :)
    I bet your hating the fact that a Northern Irish man is world number 1...you obviously hated the fact that Darren Clarke and McDowell won majors from your past posts...but this really must be killing you.

    All im asking is dont be a soar loser and give credit where credit is due...Rory is doing fantastically well. Be happy for him and dont be so short and snappy with the rest of us.
    Breath!

  • Comment number 69.

    # 66

    which book did you read?

    I thought his putting one was a great little read and some interesting tips I took into my game which improved my putting

  • Comment number 70.

    34.
    At 13:13 5th Mar 2012, yorkshire_blogster wrote:
    You cannot compare Rory to the greatest golfer (arguably) the game has ever
    seen (based on talent not character)

    Quite right too YB - It's just not fair to compare Rory with Jack, yet.

  • Comment number 71.

    Don - I apologise, It is of course me that is constantly Tiger bashing, can you put that one down to me losing my train of thought? I must have been readying myself to let rip on my own personal tirade against my personal subject for "Constructive criticism"

  • Comment number 72.

    I realise that it is often said that comparisons are odious but I often thank the Lord that when at the age of 12 I was considering playing football I was persuaded by my best chum to try golf instead! Eventually with a great coach after 4 years I played off +1 and for Surrey County. More importantly than that, together with other young hopefuls we were taught golfing manners,etiquette and dress sense so that in contrast to the vast majority of modern professional footballers the young golfers on the European and US Tours are almost universally good and even great role models,watched by generally respectful and knowledgeable spectators and observing the rules of golf to the letter without any indiscipline.

    Europe including the UK is especially blessed by having a stunning young role model in young Rory plus some of the world's best in Lee Westwood, Luke Donald,Justin Rose,Robert Rock,Martin Kaymer, Graeme McDowell-the list goes on and on. The US Tour is just the same. I and most of his critics have also seen a "major" change with Tiger. Not only has he curbed his spitting but he now spends much time signing autographs and looking (relatively) happy doing so whilst producing golf reminiscent of his very best. What a fabulous sport it is. I also play tennis but to my mind golf is the greatest sport of all for all the right reasons!

  • Comment number 73.

    James Matthew (D247 in disguise) :
    "It was great to see Westwood do what he does best...plays himself out of the tournament so there is no pressure on him to win and then produces a fantastic last round to finish near the top." then "I hope Tiger is back now for good...what an amazing last round"

    The tournament I watched had TW & LW playing the first three rounds together and both were in the same position going into the final round. TW did slightly better due to his eagle on the last which, unfortunately, LW couldn't match. You praise one but criticise the other for doing exactly the same thing.
    So what is your point, exactly?

  • Comment number 74.

    BiloMcT @62:

    Rory showed me that someone in his new management team had told him to work on the weaknesses in his game (as highlighted by a certain Don247), i.e. his short game and putting, all last week down there in the Sunshine State!

    In fact, "my" Rory did exactly what I've been telling him (and you ignorant lot) he had to do to achieve "ultimate world golf dominiation!".

    Bilo, like the others, e.g. powerhitter and Jimmy (in particular), you should look back the archives and read what I actually wrote (consistently) in my "Blue Plan for Rory Success"!!

  • Comment number 75.

    yorkshire_blogster

    I read 'Golf is not a game of Perfect'. It was OK, but things you'd already be aware of like stick to the same pre-shot routine, don't get angry after a bad shot etc etc.

    I've got the putting one still to read so will maybe give that a go if you're saying it helped.

  • Comment number 76.

    #73. trevthetrainer :

    My point Trev is that Lee is an under achiever...he has very few big events to his name and no majors...what he does at these big events is play himself out of the tournament and then finish strongly when there is no pressure.

    We all know Tiger is the best in the world under pressure so my comments on him where from a completely different prospective.

    Both shot fantastic rounds but Tiger is just coming back from the worst period of his career....Lee is in the peak of his career and has very little to show for it.

  • Comment number 77.

    #74 Have you tried cognitive behaviour therapy yet - it really does help with the memory. LOL (Joking!)

  • Comment number 78.

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

  • Comment number 79.

    #76 James - have to agree to disagree on this one. TW can't be declared the best in the world under pressure because he has rarely been under pressure. I think his putting yesterday showed the strain of pressure no end and it was only when the tournament had just about gone was he able to conjour up something to stay in the mix. His last shot into 18 was good - no doubt - but had the wind dropped and it landed a few feet to the right we'd all be talking a different talk about him today.

    By comparison LW has issues with his short game but it is getting better (probably too late for him) but he (too) never gives up and always tries to get one more birdie, one more par, grinding it out. I wouldn't be too quick to rule him out of a Major as they are there for anyone to win.

  • Comment number 80.

    # 75

    Ah I read that one too and also found it quite general - but for the size of the book was never going to cover golf in general, whereas the putting specific one was better

    putting my one in-consistency and it helped a little in the way I thought about it - but myabe because I never thought about putting in the first place

    NB - I tried doing a Rory and having no practise putting stroke at all - MASSIVE FAIL!!

  • Comment number 81.

    #78 Don247

    Why you have decided to make a personal attack on me is beyond me.
    I think you have some issues you need to sort out yourself and not take out all your anger and aggression on fellow bloggers.

    Please do not launch such an attack on me again. Your a very angery person and that kinda of aggression is not welcome on this blog.

  • Comment number 82.

    Don247!!! i cant believe you said that about mickysausage in your post @ 78! i thought you were better than that.

    we badly need to hear from Sumo82, jeffkenna, mickysausage and diamondvneck

  • Comment number 83.

    #Trev I do hope Lee wins a major this year...his ball striking is as good as it gets and when he putts well he is great. We just need him to do it for 4 rounds and not 3 during a major. Personally I think that Tiger was the best player of all time under pressure...he rarely lost when in the lead or tied for the lead going into the last day and how many times have we seen him win from behind. Also his playoff record is 15 wins 2 losses....no one else comes close to his stats.
    To say he was never put under pressure really is a bit misleading...he has been put under the same as everyone else...he just dealt with it better.

  • Comment number 84.

    #52 I think in fact he is all 3. My guess is he has a British Passport so that makes him British, He plays for Ireland in the World Cup as the whole island is covered by the GUI. And of course he was born and bred in Northern Ireland.

  • Comment number 85.

    Don267 your losing it. Even the admin think your out of line with all your personal attacks and attacks on Irish people. You need to take a step back and relax.

  • Comment number 86.

    Bilo I don't think you can take umbridge with anyone about abusing people on blogs!

    Why does it always de-generate into a slagging match between a certain minority of bloggers. can we talk golf please.

    There can be no doubt that Rory is playing the best golf out of anybody out there at the moment and that is all he can do. If TW decides he is going to shoot 4 rounds of 62's then Rory will have to improve further or settle for being second, but until that happens all he can do is beat who is in front of him. In 10 years he might consider some kind of legacy but I dare say for now he will concentrate on enjoying his golf, his life and his lovely girlfriend!!!

  • Comment number 87.

    BiloMcT @82:

    Let's make this categorically clear - @78 was directed specifically at my new "best friend forever" James Mathew!

    I think he got the message from what I see @81!! (He seems to dislike "personal attacks"!!)

  • Comment number 88.

    @86 yorkshire_blogster ....when have i ever abused anyone?! i've had a fair bit of banter but never abused anyone.
    these blogs turn into a bit of banter because what else can we talk about?! Rory is the best at the moment - FACT. Tiger is back - FACT. Westwood is a choker - FACT. People are bascially just saying the same thing but in different ways. Thats why we end up debating other stuff, there isnt more to say on the fact Rory is the new #1!
    How about you stick your neck out on the line and give an opinion about something else instead of just dribble about Rory playing the best golf which is obvious!
    Tell us...what do you think of Belly Putter and the increasing use of Belly Putters in the modern game?

  • Comment number 89.

    Tickles me how James Matthew always manages to bring out the worst in Old Donald. Dont will this Red card also lead to a fairly lengthy absence? Say it ain't so.

    Quckly on the Rory vs Tiger thing did anyone else hear Simon Holmes (I think thats his name, i cant properly remember) claiming that age for age Rory was ahead of Woods in virtually every area? I didnt particularly rate him as a pundit before but now i just think he's a loony

  • Comment number 90.

    You guys make me giggle. Despite what was a very good tounament, you can talk all you want about Tom Gillis should have won, Tiger should have, this and that..... At the end of the day, the truly hard holes ('Bear Trap') were conquered by Rory and Rory alone. Yes he didn't play his best, but anyone with a brain could see he had about 4 more gears to click into if needed. And truthfully, he didn't need to.

    Was delighted to see Tiger score well, much better! He has been missing the putts and hopefully they will roll. The last hole signified for me why Westy hasn't won a major. That chip, when birdie was a MUST, and he leaves it 20 feet away. A top 10 player would have had that within 4-5 feet max. He doesn't have the all around game we are led to believe.

    Regarding the coverage, if I see another Callaway advert with our 310 yard Spaniard, I will literally throw my coffee at the TV......

    How good was Monty btw on Sky when he was on? I loved that, couldn't hit a draw for toffee!

    Finally the joker who said Tiger would be 8/1 or 9/1 for the Masters, you have got to be kidding. I think now he will be 5/1 max this week and I suspect he will be shorter odds after this weekends golf action. 7/2 max by the Thursday of Augusta.

  • Comment number 91.

    Jimmy, i heard that too. Simon holmes has always been a clown

  • Comment number 92.

    Bilo there is no argument needed on the use of belly putters. They are the greatest innovation in golf in the last century plus they are more aesthetically pleasing than the rubbish standard length ones.

  • Comment number 93.

    Beanie....lol that was fantastic, Monty trying to draw the ball. I mean the guy was an amazing golfer and still is pretty good and he cant hit a draw...classic.

  • Comment number 94.

    #84,

    No he is Northern Irish, like he said.

  • Comment number 95.

    I don't really mind Simon Holmes. Most of the Sky golf pundits are pretty good, and I thought Monty was great when he was on last Thursday.

    If they could just get rid of Bruce Critchley things would be better. I like listening to the American commentary actually, their general chat is more interesting.

  • Comment number 96.

    Also I'd like to point out that Honda are tight g**s

    their placard on the par 3 to win the car read "this fancy car will be won by the first pga pro who scores a hole in one thurs-sunday"

    one car to the first pro who does it. so a player who does it on a thursday morning in front of 2 people would win it but on Sunday afternoon in front of a thousand you then would win zilch.

    plus totally agree with the comment about the Callaway advert - I will never buy a Callaway product due to the incessant advertising last night. Im sure the Callaway directors are devastated at this news.....

  • Comment number 97.

    Monty = Mrs Doubtfire

  • Comment number 98.

    The best Sky Pundit is John Hawksworth.

  • Comment number 99.

    Hawksworth's never on these days. I think he's been dropped by Sky.

  • Comment number 100.

    I sometimes consider muting the TV during some of the Sky Sports coverage, especially when Mark Roe talks.

 

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