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Magnificent McIlroy casts a huge shadow

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Iain Carter | 17:17 UK time, Monday, 13 August 2012

Golf has been waiting for someone to break from the shadows and with a loping yet triumphant stride Rory McIlroy did exactly that with his second major victory.

The 23-year-old from Northern Ireland was always the most likely candidate to break a sequence that had produced a four-year run of 16 different major winners.

The moment was there to be seized and in the modern game there is no one better in that regard than the sublimely talented McIlroy.

The 2011 US Open champion was heavily criticised at last year's Open when he admitted he would have to wait for the right conditions to win the one major staged on British soil.

Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy celebrates winning his second major title after his eight-shot victory in the US PGA at Kiawah Island. Photo: Getty  

McIlroy says those comments were made out of frustration, but despite this win they continue to ring true.

Kiawah Island provided the perfect setting for his game and it is little wonder that when he arrived at the Ocean Course last Monday he soon had a feeling it could be his week.

He stood in the locker room and looked out at the spectacular setting in the knowledge that his game was back in decent shape. He also quickly realised the course he surveyed would suit it to a tee.

Despite being set beside the sea, Kiawah is a "through the air" course, particularly after it had been softened by heavy rains.

The sticky paspalum grass greens and surrounds take bump and run chips out of the equation and that played to McIlroy's strengths.

He fits well with PGA of America course set-ups and had twice finished third in this championship in three previous attempts to land the last major of the year.

Yet he still had to make these advantages count against the strongest major field of the season. Until Ben Crane pulled out on the eve of the championship, the top 103 players in the world were on the start list.

And he also had to battle the tough winds of the second round. His 75 on Friday, three strokes below the average score that day, was as important as his spectacular weekend scores of 67 and 66.

McIlroy made two late birdies in the second round that kept him within two strokes of the lead at the halfway point. They provided the launch pad for the victory that has taken him back to the top of the world rankings.

Inevitably he can now lap up the praise of which his talents are so deserving. US Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III is among those who were impressed by the Ulsterman's record breaking eight shot win.

"He played a great week of golf and you have to respect that," Love told BBC Sport. "Any time you run away from one of the best fields in golf it is an incredible story. You have to be impressed and excited for the guy.

"When Rory gets the bit he goes. He's not afraid to go ahead and blow them out of the water.

"I noticed recently he's been anxious. He'd been playing well and was ready to break loose and that's what great champions do. They play well in big tournaments, they turn it loose when it really, really counts.

"Rory has proved he's ready for the limelight, ready for the big stage and as a PGA champion I love this Championship and seeing guys play as well as that to win it."

Love's European counterpart Jose Maria Olazabal will equally have enjoyed the outcome, particularly with the tenacious Ian Poulter forcing his way into the automatic top 10 for the European team.

How significant McIlroy's victory is for Europe's defence of the Ryder Cup next month is less easy to predict, though. Certainly Love doesn't feel that it puts his American team at a disadvantage.

"Does it ultimately matter that Rory's won the PGA when we get to Medinah?" Love said.

"It gives him confidence and it gives his team some confidence but I remember some times when Tiger Woods, Justin Leonard and Davis Love were major champions and it didn't work out for us and we got beaten soundly.

"In the end it only matters how you play those three days."

Europe's domination of the final major means that Love's list of automatic qualifiers didn't change and Phil Mickelson hung on to his place in the team without needing a wildcard.

The American captain will choose four from a list that includes Steve Stricker (almost certain), Jim Furyk (almost certain) Hunter Mahan (probable), Rickie Fowler (probable) and Dustin Johnson (possible).

For Europe Sergio Garcia has been nudged out by Poulter but has the consolation of encouraging words last week from Olazabal. Garcia plays his last counting event on the PGA Tour this week.

Meanwhile David Lynn, the surprise runner up at Kiawah on his first tournament appearance in America, Rafa Cabrera-Bello and Nicolas Colsaerts will go to next week's Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles with hopes of forcing their way into the European side.

No such worries for McIlroy, who has long since been guaranteed his place at Medinah.

Instead he can contemplate his new position at the head of the game. The rest of the golfing world lies in his shadow.

Comments

Page 1 of 4

  • Comment number 1.

    That was way too easy for Mcilroy, that was a good win but not a fun win to watch.

    That course was too soft, if it wasn't for wind on Friday Mcilroy would have finished 21-22 under par. That's a fact, on the other three days he shot 67,67,66 barely making a bogey. That's ridiculous for a major championship.

    The other 'contenders' should have done a lot better, how Tiger can only shoot 2 under par on a course set up perfectly for him is incredible. Either there's a lack of top talent or the advanced technology is preventing talent shining through.

    In terms of a spectacle, golf is poor right now.

  • Comment number 2.

    oh iain...how fickle you sports writers are...you love to set'em up and then you love to knock'em down

    go easy on this kid...he's phenomenal...allow him the odd aberration and, above all, allow him to have a private life...nurture his talent, give him a break in media circles and he'll repay you in spades

    well done, rory...a special talent like yours comes around only once in a very great while

  • Comment number 3.

    Amazing performance, It's so hard to believe after his Masters collapse that he could unnervingly trounce the field when he won the US and again at the weekend.

    Poulter put an amazing run together but instead of flapping Rory grabbed two early birdies.

    Great showing from European contingent in timely fashion for Ryder Cup.

    On the biggest stage where were these hot shot Americans??

  • Comment number 4.

    Well done, Rory. Simply brilliant performance. Winning a major by 8 shots (twice), speaks for itself.

    I see that a few on here are trying to downplay his win ("Easy course" - Ranked the toughest in America; "Can`t play in wind" - 75 on Friday when average score was 78), and this whole Brit or Irish debate - it`s all a bit sad.

    Just cast an eye over Iain Carter`s blog before the competition started ("Forget London 2012, this is Glory`s Last stand") - and with regard to the comments related to the blog: Respect to Shawso (No. 10), and as for James Mathew (No. 16).........ahem. Spot on golfing knowledge there, James. Tee Hee.

    Good luck for the future, Rory.

  • Comment number 5.

    C'mon umpteenth time. If the course was so easy how come the best of the rest was 8 strokes behind! Some people just can't seem to accept that European golf has it's most talented player since seve and he's from these isles! Oh and so much for him not being able to handle the wind...it didn't blow him away on Friday. Young macca is a prodigy and if you look at others who had won 2 majors by the age of 23 you'll see he's in pretty heady company. He may not win as many as Tiger of even Jack but then again, he just might. Oh and good luck with the tennis chick my son, she's hot to trot!

  • Comment number 6.

    Disagree no.1, it was great to watch. Mcilroy is a breath of fresh air to golf. The course was by mo means easy, Mcilroy was the only player that made it look easy and even he had to have his a grade short game to achieve such a low score. I hope he goes onto win many majors. He's the only reason I have got back into golf.

  • Comment number 7.

    So Rory McIlroy DOES know what he's doing after all! Who knew?

    Rory McIlroy may lack the all-round game at this time in his career, and he may never quite acquire the consistency of Jack Nicklaus, but rather like the French Rugby Team, when he's on it, boy is he on it! Give him a course that suits his eye and the sun his back, and he produces the kind of golf others can only dream of. He's a good learner too- look at how much his short game has come on. You would not exactly call his putting a strength but it's certainly not the weakness many feared it might be. Anyway, half way toward a Grand Slam, and he's got the two Majors that UK golfers have traditionally found most difficult under his belt. I hope he makes it to a Grand Slam before too long, lest that become the new stick people chose to beat him with.

    As for Tiger-well I called him ordinary prior to the championship, and boy did he prove me right! He didn't play overtly bad golf- but when the moments came that you would expected a player at the top of his game to stiff an approach to 8 feet, and make that clutch putt for birdie, he just seemed to fluff his lines. Not only that, but his choices were strange- the bizzare choice to play one of the par 5's- ? the 7th- in three when an eagle was called for, for instance. I am genuienly interested to know what his though process is at times- it's like in his mind he still thinks he's 28 and is still seeing shots that his body (and swing?) are no longer able to cope with. The number of times he miss-hit or miss-clubbed approach shots to greens when he a short iron or wedge in his hand was astonishing! There was one instance where he had 100 yards to go, and managed to air-mail the green by 15 yards.

    All in all, it was great British/European performance for the minor medal placings- with Poulter, Rose, Hanson and McDowell all enjoying decent outings on a PGA setup (The PGA of America are aslo resposnible for the USA Home Ryder Cups), added to Rory's win and that's a decent core for Team Europe to work with. I had feared for our fortunes at Medinah, but maybe all is not lost....

  • Comment number 8.

    Lastly, it would be remiss not to emntion what a let-down Donald and Westwood were! Luke was lucky to even be at the weekend (before, true to form, tying the second lowest score for the final round) and Westwood M/C'd depsite leading the GIR stats (same as Royal St Georges last year- he's nothing if not consistent, is Lee!) so what does Lee do? Fire his coach of course! "Greater love hath no man than this..." indeed. This in all probaablity is the final Major which Luke will go as World Number One. Luke has played somehing like 7 Majors while ranked # 1, and hasn't been a leading feature in any of them. Hopefully Rory will set a better example

  • Comment number 9.

    @6, the field finished 8 shots back because they underachieved on a very attackable course. Rory is not playing unbelievable golf like Tiger used to, his score was matchable, the other golfers just aren't upto it right now. Tigers lost his magic, Phil only turns up at Augusta, Bubbas game works about once a year and don't get me started on the English players 'without a major.'

    I actually think Seve would have won on a course like that, because it didn't punish inaccurate shots, you could easily recover from them. The course didn't even have any proper bunkers!

    Thanks for the good wishes ;)

  • Comment number 10.

    Irish golf is number 1 in the world. A wee island has produced a major winner each year since 2007. Amazing run. Well done Padraig, Darren, Gmac and Rory. You do the country proud!

  • Comment number 11.

    Huh. Was it only 3 weeks ago that he was being openly criticised for dating a girl who has her own career and that it was having a large affect on his form? Rory seems like the type that if the course suits his style, no-one can stop him. If not, he's in danger of not making the cut. Well, nice to see that he shut the critics up, for at least a month.

  • Comment number 12.

    umpteenth...@9...i need enemies on this blog like i need a dose of the shanks but i have to disagree with you

    personally, i thought rory's display was exactly what you think it wasn't...unbelievable!... as i watched his final round unfold, i kept thinking "he's gonna miss one in a minute" but he didn't...as the yanks say, he was 'in the zone' and, for me, it was a pleasure to watch

    at least i agree with you re seve [rip]...my all-time sporting hero...like i said in a recent blog, his 1991 ryder cup performance at kiawah was, for me, his best ever

  • Comment number 13.

    #9- you did actually WATCH the final round, didn't you? The Olyimpic closing ceremnoy was on, so you'd be foriven if your attentions were elsewhere, but are seriously suggesting that a bogey-free, 67, with something liek a dozen single-putt greens, and barely a fairway missed for an 8-shot win is not 'Unbelievable golf'? Are you really that ignorant?

  • Comment number 14.

    There will always be a stick with which to beat Mcilroy, Because he's from the UK. "How does he handle the pressure of a major down the stretch when he's put under pressure" "How will he play on a dry course" "He hasnt won in Europe yet" etc etc...If you look hard enough you can always find a way to be critical.

    It was a marvelous display of golf and all he deserves is credit, Sadly it wasn't the best spectacle which is a shame on a course that was capable of producing a thrilling finish given the right cast, probably not a bad major to have flying under the radar.

    Oh and Record breaking major wins in each of the last 2 years? I bet he hasn't got a sniff.

  • Comment number 15.

    Hi everyone. Long time reader, first time poster! just wanted to say Rory was class! best golf display i've seen in a long time, reminded me very much of Tiger in his prime, blowing the field away with ease

  • Comment number 16.

    @13, Mcilroys final round was simply a case of him getting all the basics right for 18 holes. Fairway, green, don't three-putt. On a real golf course he could never have done that, you need to display more improvisation. Do you seriously think he could done that at Olympic club? (the golf course not London 2012.)

    @12, Love Seve myself, Probably the most naturally talented and exciting player of all time. If only he'd developed a tad more consistency he could have won 15 majors. Still... he was about a lot more than winning.

  • Comment number 17.

    Should really start proof reading my posts before i hit the send button. Oh well.

    Only picks for the PGA tour this week as there is no event in Europe (Apart from the Scottish Seniors Open but with the best will in the world, its not quite the who's who of old gits that the Champions tour in America is)

  • Comment number 18.

    Way too much over analysis of all the wrong things. Accept that he is a dual major winner, number one in the rankings and is normal. He won't win every golf tournament, he is just a great talent along with many others out there. Give the young man a break.

  • Comment number 19.

    funny how this golf course only suited macca,, funny how congressonal only suted macca
    funny how he lapped everyone again. funny how he is the worlds number one.

    best player, ost talent and harest worker ,, end of. when he is on he is untouchable, Plouter cant play any better and got his handed to him.
    if everyone plays ther best he stll wins

  • Comment number 20.

    Ross, you hark at the lack of agreement of Rory being unbelievable, bu you still call TW ordinary. Ironic somewhat.

    I can see where people are coming from about others not destroying a course that Poulter proved was destroy able. Pin at the first was an easy one to get at, easy birdie on 2nd n drive near the green chip n putt n by presto -3 through 3!!!!

    Fact is nobody in contention could get near Rory not because of the very playable last round but because of the previous three. His third round was sublime.

  • Comment number 21.

    Just watched highlights. Can Iain or anyone please tell me why Rory wasn't penalised for hitting the sand twice on his practice swings in the green side bunker on the 16th on Sunday????

  • Comment number 22.

    Rory won and performed as he can, I will eat humble pie for a previous blog comment.
    When he is playing at the top of his game few will stay with him and sorry but as Ian (wheres the golf day don't worry we sorted our own) pointed out he performs on courses that suit him and Kiawh clearly did.
    Fair play to him last two years two majors not to shabby by any imagination oh and I got 10 points for the pick and added bonus.
    I dont think Rory at his age will concern himself with chasing records and stating what his goals are to all and sundry as he is doing a pretty good job at setting records already.

  • Comment number 23.

    @21...Everything was deemed as waste areas/no bunkers, so the only penalty (I think) you would get is grounding your club, practice swings were fine.

  • Comment number 24.

    Don mate can you come out of retirement and give your verdict on the last two majors and the forthcoming Ryder cup come on don't dissapoint your adoring public, well me anyway. You know you want to and consoling Maria although a job I would love I am sure she will let you loose for a bit.

  • Comment number 25.

    @21 Gareth. There are no bunkers on the Ocean Course they are all sandy areas.
    I think that it was brilliant that Rory won with a magnificent performance. The round on friday when he was 3 shots better than the field average on the one day of difficult conditions may put to bed to some extent the notion that he can only play in perfect conditions.
    Tremendous efforts also by Poulter and Lynn.
    Dont think that this will kick start a long Tigeresque run of Majors because i dont think he yet has the full desire to win major after major. When he realises how great he can be if he really dedicates his life to the game, that will be the time he wins a lot of them.
    He is only 23 and has the world at his feet. Good luck young man enjoy life and carry on winning.

  • Comment number 26.

    Jimmy, picks for this week are.
    John Daly
    Nicholas Colsaerts
    Webb Simpson

  • Comment number 27.

    Rory played superb golf the whole week, i think he may threaten Tigers 14 majors if he can become that bit more consistent, also to point out to Snoopy, no golfer from ireland won a major in 2009.

  • Comment number 28.

    @21 & 23. My understanding was that they were sandy areas and were an integral part of the course therefore grounding the club did not incur a penalty, although out of habit most players didn't anyway.

    @16 - 606. He can only play the course in front of him and "simply" getting the basics right isn't quite as simple as your statement to that effect. Like most links courses for it to be a true allround test, to which I think you allude to in your post, the wind needs to blow. This only really happened in the second round and the avge. score of 78 showed what a brute it could have been.

    However unlike St Andrews where Mcilroy follwed a 63 with an 80 his 75 was a very decent score compared to the rest of the field and has gone some way to show, at least to my mind, that he may be developing a more rounded game enabling him to perform more consistently in such conditions.

    Whatever your take on it however there can be no denying he blew away the course and the strongest field assembled in world golf this year. I can't think what else he could have done to prove his critics wrong in that respect.

  • Comment number 29.

    WCIHIS early picks feeling confident? I did not realise that he was 3 shots better than the average on Friday I thought his 75 was worse than that so thats a surprise.
    I agree he has the world at his feet it will be interesting to see how he kicks on now it would be great to see him win at Augusta and bury the memories from there once and for all.

  • Comment number 30.

    @28...I think the general consensus was that none of the players understood the ruling. I heard in practice they didn't bother trying what they were allowed to do!!??

  • Comment number 31.

    No-one heard that LW has split with Pete Cowen, long time coach and friend.....Interesting move. I wonder if Lee see's his immediate future in the States?

  • Comment number 32.

    Mattefc, He has split from his temporary caddie as well Makes you wonder if his drop in form has something to do with Billy Fosters absence. Really hope for Europe RC that Lee finds his form again quickly. Ever the optimist i believe that Europe will have too much experience in their team for the Americans with all of them having played in the RC.

  • Comment number 33.

    wcihis Just read the Westwood news, basically he seems to want someone who will spend more time with him and he is also going to have a new short game coach Pelz would be my guess esp with the move stateside imminent. I think the caddie change is still only temporary until Billy is fit. Who will be the new swing coach Butch Harmon ??

  • Comment number 34.

    I wouldn't say Mcilroy's golf was unbelievable, he missed a good few fairways and greens with some fairly nervous swings. His short-game though was superb, he put a lot of chips and bunker shots very close and when he didn't he holed a lot of putts for par from longer range. Regarding his 75 in the wind, That wasn't a particularly good score. Average was 78 but that includes lots of mediocre golfers who missed the cut

  • Comment number 35.

    Right no long game coach for Westy but the new short game coach will be announce next week but it seems like it will be someone unexpected. Interesting indeed.

  • Comment number 36.

    Incredible performance, dare I say it "Woods like", he could be special this boy, a legend in waiting...

  • Comment number 37.

    I think Rory's break was when they "found" his ball embedded in the tree, he never looked back from that!!! Without doubt he deserved this major, I just have doubts if he can prove himself in difficult conditions/layouts, and his game is obviously designed for a high ball flight/soft landing.
    Someone mentioned earlier about a Grand Slam, That IMHO is holding all 4 at once..Is It not!!!??

  • Comment number 38.

    1.At 19:20 13th Aug 2012, umpteenth_time_user save 606 wrote...

    ...aren't you the guy that's usually slagging off cycling? Do you ever say ANYTHING positive? What a sad and very hollow world you inhabit!

  • Comment number 39.

    daveyboyfletcher @24:

    Don247 is not Tina Turner ... I refuse to become a parody of myself, making comeback after comeback!

    I would, however, like to congratulate Rory McIlroy on becoming a multiple major winner (... and "silencing" his harshest critic ... a certain Don247!)

    I see that Rory (finally) admitted to "taking his eye off the ball". Obviously those consecutive missed cuts made him take a good look at the strengths and weaknesses of his game (SWOT analysis perhaps?), re-read all the earlier BBC blogs where I indulged in a little "constructive criticism", then go on ... either knowingly or unknowingly ... to apply "Don247's Blueprint for Ultimate World Golf Domination" (to the absolute letter).

    Anyway, I digress. That's it from me .... short and sweet like never before!

    I will now return to my self-imposed retirement, merrily "cutting and pasting" in the Quiet Room, plagiarising one newspaper article after the other to my heart's content with a view to compiling my 'Ultimate Scrapbook of the (Magnificent) Maria Sharapova!'

    Oh, oh ... I see it's getting late. Time for the "prodigal old git" to settle down and enjoy his nice hot cup of cocoa!

    P.S. - Regarding Lee Westwood's move to Florida, it's funny that nobody has mentioned that the "Sunshine State" is one of seven states in the US which doesn't have individual/personal income tax (... not that I'm casting aspersions on the increasing number of British golfers who reside in this "millionaires' paradise!")

  • Comment number 40.

    Matt - 2nd place was -5, That constitutes a difficult layout surely. If he had shot -6 then he would have won and all would have agreed it was difficult. The fact that he demolished the field should enhance the victory, not open it up to unjustified nit picking in my opinion.

    Same goes for our Fletch. "performs on courses that suit him" I think that applies to every golfer on the planet doesn't it?? Apart from the rubbish ones who don't even perform on courses that suit them.

  • Comment number 41.

    @Jimmy...Lost you a bit on that one dude. I never said it was easy, I've actually said Rory played well & deserved the win.
    @Don....Are you ever going to get back involved??

    Good quote from Gmac,"Rory's a once in a decade player, Tigers a once in a lifetime player".

  • Comment number 42.

    @38 i also make lots of positive comments. Which obviously you refuse to acknowledge.

    I remember seeing Tiger in his heyday, it was simply out of this world. People who say Rory is at that level either have short memories or are too young to have seen Tiger in his prime.

    Nothing can compare to that version of Tiger. Unlike Rory, he was never affected by different courses or weather. And if he was he'd adapt to them, not simply write off the tournament the way Rory does when he doesn't fancy the set-up.

    The Tiger-Rory comparisons need to stop.

  • Comment number 43.

    Well done Rory. Nothing to stop him now. I will agree that the Tiger comparisions need to stop.... For now. We'll wait until he gets to 10 major wins! Really, people need to stop putting him down, it's getting old. If Tiger had just won the USPGA in this fashion, the world would be hailing the return of the King with a 'once in a lifetime performance'.

    All hail the new King.

  • Comment number 44.

    @comment 31 - That is old news, please can we talk qbout current affairs, Westwoods obvious future is in the states and his lack of entering mediocre tournaments this year shows he was trying his best for a major, but with no outcome!
    @comment 37 - What an outrageous comment!! Wonder how he can play in difficult conditions?? Did you see the conditions? One minute it was hot with no wind, the next it was blowing a gale and throwing it down, then it was hot again. Yet again you are questioning somebody's ability to match your precious Woods, does it matter if Mcilroy holds all 4 at once?? He as one one majors in back to back years!! Get a grip boy!
    @comment 40 - well said realJimmy, your mate as his tiger lilly glasses on again!
    @comment 41 - Yet another post dedicated to Woods!! Do you actually know anything about any other golfing facts? You are beginning to worry me!

  • Comment number 45.

    Comment 43 - well said Gbell, why do people keep comparing Rory and Tiger?? One minute its Rory cant win majors, then its he'll only win the one and now its he'll never win all 4!! Well he's won 2 in back to back years so all you Rory haters and Tiger lovers, especially you MATTEFC and DONCARNIOLI, go and eat your humble pies and come up with something better than slag a multiple major winner!

  • Comment number 46.

    "16.At 20:57 13th Aug 2012, umpteenth_time_user save 606 wrote:
    @13, Mcilroys final round was simply a case of him getting all the basics right for 18 holes. Fairway, green, don't three-putt"

    I can't agree with that. I haven't analysed his final round, but there were several times where he single putted on the back nine, often for a clutch par but (obviously) sometimes for birdie. I think they said he had 24 putts, so with a 66 that's erm, (two down, carry the one ...) erm 6 single putts.

    The important thing about that is that a 'silly' bogey at the 10th or 11th could have stopped his momentum or even derailed him. Remember that Poulter was -8 at one stage with Rory -10. In the end, Poulter went into freefall and Rory pushed on, but those clutch putts make a big difference. In the end it looked easy but with 9 holes left he wasn't sure of winning

    Welcome back gbell. Wondered where you'd been

  • Comment number 47.

    Comment 42 - Are you MattEfc in disguise??

  • Comment number 48.

    Comment 46 - Well said TBMG, i also didnt agree with that comment, we are obviously dealing with people who are infactuated with Tiger and are clinging on to hopes that Rory wont be as good as predicted, well it looks like they are being proven wrong!

  • Comment number 49.

    Cyril #44. Can you translate this for me:

    "He as one one majors in back to back years!!"

    That makes Dave 'who needs punctuation' Fletcher look like Shakespeare! (sorry Dave)

    mattefc "Good quote from Gmac,"Rory's a once in a decade player, Tigers a once in a lifetime player"."

    Reminds me of a quote by Robbie Fowler on Steve Gerrard when SG was about 20, about whether SG would become world class. Something like "they say that players peak at about age 27. If Stevie carries on like this, he'll be universe class never mind world class'

  • Comment number 50.

    Comment 39 - Good Riddance

  • Comment number 51.

    It makes me laugh to read comments along the lines of "it was nothing special - every other player in the field underperformed".

    He won a major championship by a record margin (for the second time). How can that not be an amazing achievement?

    Can't wait for the Ryder cup now. Europe look really strong but if anyone was doubting the size of the task then look at some of the Americans that are requiring wildcards: Furyk (28), Stricker (10), D Johnson (18), Fowler (20), Mahan (15).

  • Comment number 52.

    49 - Predictive Text my friend, it can sometimes make you look a bit silly!! Anyway as it looks like you really (really,really) want me to put this error correct for you and make you aware of what it really says, as you dont seem to be able to make it out.......... "He has won majors in back to back years"..........Is that ok for you now?? Or do you need it in block capitals?? So Rory is only going to be around for a decade?? Absolute joke and outrageous comment to make!!

  • Comment number 53.

    RM is a superstar: his best game (provided the course/conditions are exactly right ... but the caveat ought to drop away in time) is an order of magnitude better than anyone else's, and that includes this current 'post fire hydrant' version of the great TW. At 23 years old he's won two majors, each one by 8 shots, and that's reason enough to get very excited about what his career could end up delivering.

  • Comment number 54.

    Comment 51 - Well said mate, couldnt have put it better any myself, this blog needs people like you who tell it how it is!! Please post more, there are too many one directional bloggers on here and they need to start talking propper golf!

  • Comment number 55.

    Yet again, McIlroy makes people on here like Don247 and jamesmatthews look like idiots for bashing him. Time for a lot of humble pie to be shared round.

  • Comment number 56.

    Matt - If i've lost you i'll try to find you again. You questioned "if he can prove himself in difficult conditions/layouts"

    Kiawah is a difficult course/layout so he has answered that question. Thats the point i was making.

  • Comment number 57.

    Its fiesty on this blog! LOL
    I dont know why there is so much debate, the facts are very simple - Rory was miles better than anyone else last week. On very top form he is the best golfer in the world. He is still young. Comparisons with Tiger Woods are silly, give him at least 5 more years before he is compared to Tiger Woods.

  • Comment number 58.

    Well well well.

    So Rory wins his second major and Don247 comes out from his retirement home (in that tax-haven otherwise known as The Sunshine State) to eat some humble pie.

    Don - your boy gave them a hell of a beating. Undoubtedly down to following your blueprint for success. I assume you'll take a modest 10%?

    Been a funny year for Rory, winning a major and cementing his position as no.1 has undoubtedly meant it can considered a success, although a lack of consistency has meant his form was poor for some of the bigger tournaments. Hopefully he'll take his good form into the Ryder Cup now. Speaking of which, does anyone else fear the USA might just give Europe a good thrashing this time around?

    On that note, I'll retire back to my Florida residence, where I can monitor Don247 from afar.

  • Comment number 59.

    Congratulations to Little Mac on his PGA success.

    I for one will admit i didn't think he would win with his current form.
    I believe with his youth that Rory can easily get distracted and loose interest when not playing well BUT when he starts,it is as if somebody has switched the light ON and everything just clicks into place. He just seems to get in the zone and demolish anything that is put in front of him and oozes a total different confidence.
    I also believe in time he will learn to play "links" golf and one day will win the Open as well as a number of other high profile tournaments and with a few more years experience could go on to win all 4 Majors and possibly become Europes greatest golfer.

  • Comment number 60.

    Jimmy My picks for the Wyndham are ;

    Charl Swartzel
    Jason Dufner
    Robert Karlsson

  • Comment number 61.

    @Cyril

    Who is your favourite golfer of all time ?

  • Comment number 62.

    @59 ridiculous comment about Rory learning to play " links " golf. He was a prolific winner in his amatuer days. He won back to back West of Ireland titles at Rosses Point which is a very tough links track and he has numerous titles and the course record at Portrush! He admitted his comment after the Open in 2011 was silly and came from being frustrated that week. He can play links golf just fine as his record proves.

  • Comment number 63.

    Manina - My fav golfer of all time is Tom Watson, i just think he showed over the years what a great golfer he is and i dont think anyone will ever match is British Open game, truly the best links player i have seen. Can i also state, before people comment, this is my "FAV" golfer of all time, not who i think is best!

  • Comment number 64.

    @sparticus

    This was not a critiscm of his ability to play "links" golf, just a point of view witch I thought this blog was about.
    I believe everyone is entitled to there own opinion and they do not have to agree with all comments posted so surely you can accept mine

  • Comment number 65.

    Cyril, thanks for the translation. I actually sent it off to MI5 for decoding but they're struggling with it, so thanks.

    62 - I don't think 59 is a ridiculous comment, simply because it's essentially based on what Rory said himself and the fact that he hasn't really contended in an Open.

    I agree with manina that Rory seems to switch off / lose interest sometimes. I emphasise the 'seems to' because I'm sure it's not so simple, but when you see how much better he was at the PGA (fewer mistakes than anyone else, always recovered from his mistakes, clutch putted amazingly etc) it seems like he has the ability to do what TIger used to and win even with his B game

  • Comment number 66.

    BMG Punctuation lessons indeed? Anyone would think you were a writer or something, oh you are.( Geddin the Hole available at Amazon)
    Don thanks for return you are missed by some and should ignore the critics and cut and paste whatever you like. Ps can I borrow your scrap book, is that a Jimmy like definate no?
    I for one have questioned Rory on previous blogs and am happy that he has come good proving us Experts wrong. IMO he always had the talent but just did not apply it and at his age the lure of celebrity wealth beyond your dreams and everything that has come his way was bound to be a distraction.
    On the course when really on he chases flags and plays shots others cannot.
    His return to number one on top of the win proves that although seemingly he has not been performing he was hardly falling away.
    It will be interesting to see what happens with his challengers will they come after him and who potentially will they be??

  • Comment number 67.

    @Cyril
    Good call and a gentleman as well.
    As a junior I always wanted to be like Faldo and the other lads wanted to be Watson,Seve and Langer ,it was great fun commentating to oursselves as we would all try and hole the winning putt for the Open

  • Comment number 68.

    Manina - Watson, Seve, Faldo and Langer all greats of the game! They was the days, how good it would be to see the guys from the last 20 years take on the guys from the previous 20. Now that would be a match up! Ryder Cup style too!

  • Comment number 69.

    @ suitcaseman...i like opinions and enjoy a debate but i like there to be facts behind statements. what evidence do you have that he needs to learn how to play links golf? one ridiculous statement Rory made which he admitted was the wrong thing to say? is that what your oponion is based on? for me ill stick with facts - his steller amateur record on the links courses

  • Comment number 70.

    Interesting reading this morning.

    I think the general concensus is that if you get an easy course that suits Rory's game then he then becomes the only golfer in a field of 103 to play unbelievable, even though it was an easy course that every else should have murdered, but didn't....even though it was an easy course.

  • Comment number 71.

    Manina you can commentate and pretend to be who you like but tomorrow your going down my friend. The new driver is primed and ready for action my swing change is there or there about's and your Tiger like worries with the driver will see you crumble into a sandy bunker!
    Cyril not trying to start an argument (honest) but what about Peter Thompson he was a great links player to?
    Ref Rory Don summed it up long ago with his fight and flight comment and that will be the mark of how Rory achieves greatness, how he plays when he is struggling and turning 72's into 69's when he needs to. The greats could do that when playing poorly Seve, Tiger would scramble and put in a score that's where Rory sometimes loses it.

  • Comment number 72.

    Sparticus I think the point is Rory can play any course Links etc but come on he is a bit of a fair weather player and when the sun is not shining and the flags are blowing he sometimes struggles. Also on a links the fairways are narrower and the rough is proper rough so keeping the ball in play becomes a must. No one doubts the guy can play links as his scores suggest the issue is he does not always adapt well when the conditions are tough.

  • Comment number 73.

    @sparticus

    I think you will find the "facts" that as a Profesional golfer Rory needs to learn to play links golf as he has only had one top 10 finish at the Open since turning Pro.

    That my lad is a FACT

  • Comment number 74.

    Good fact....one top 10 in 5 Opens as a Pro is actually quiet good. Better than Tigers record in his first 5 Opens anyway!
    I apologise though if you felt i had a go. i do respect your opinion and others bloggers opinions, thats why we're on here i suppose!

  • Comment number 75.

    DaveyBoy - Is that Thompson or Thomson?.... Anyway Thomson was indeed a great open Links player and he demonstrated this by winning 5 British opens and being the only man to win 3 on the bounce 54/55/56 but only one of his wins which was in 1965 was against a real class field! And strangely these 5 majors where the only majors he won. Watson we can deffo say won all his open's against fields of world class players, he even at the ripe old age of 59 narrowly lost in a tie breaker to win a 6th open. Also i was there this year at Lytham on the 18th green watching the great man sink a long range effort to bring the grand stands to there feet! Genius!

  • Comment number 76.

    Cyril apologies for the name error though you knew who I meant. Thomson did not play much in the states hence he seems to be a links only specialist. Back then the US had a kind of closed shop and did not like Jonny Foreigner turning up and beating them in their own back yard. Hence he hardly played in the States so did not compete inthe US open Pga or at Augusta, though I believe he is not a fan of Augusta anyway. He is a proud man and something put his nose out of joint so he stuck two fingers up.

  • Comment number 77.

    Sparticus i have got to say i agree with Manina on this argument! Rory obviously as turned himself into a warm weather player, there is no doubting where his origins are from and he grew up playing links courses but since turning Pro he is no longer the Links player he was, and really i cant see him being too much bothered especially with two American Majors to his name!

  • Comment number 78.

    Cyril, ??? are you a wind up?

  • Comment number 79.

    Is Rory the new Phil Mickelson then?

  • Comment number 80.

    Morning all...

    Some crazy comments being made on this blog, some people stick to their guns too much regarding what they've said previously.
    I have posted that Rory hasn't had the best year and was possibly distracted, but i'm still going to congratulate him on a great and emphatic win on a tough course against the best in the world, you can't argue with his performance, it was professional and solid.
    Some utter rubbish being slung about by some on here, probably by people who are too proud to go back on what they've already said.

    p.s. - Nice to see Don and Powerhitter back on !

  • Comment number 81.

    Daveyboy - Impresive decade of stats from Thomson in the Open, between 1952 and 1958 he finished 2nd 3 times and won 4 times! And between 1951 and 1971 which is a whopping 20 years he only finished out of the top10 3 times!!

  • Comment number 82.

    Great win for Rory!
    As for the never ending comparisons with Tiger, I do remember watching Tiger win all those majors and they were not all "blowing the field away" wins, many were other players collapsing or not been able to go the distance with Tiger.

  • Comment number 83.

    @ yorkshire_blogster...good call, Rory does seem to have a touch of the Phil's about him

  • Comment number 84.

    Sumo how is Bilo he has been quiet is he busy with his daughter?
    Rory by his own admission has had a relatively quiet year but winning another major makes up for the last few months.
    Yorkshire Blogster Rory is not the new Phil Rory is Rory I kinda see what you might be thinking but comparatively Rory is way ahead of Phil. Phil did not win a major until he was well in his thirties and all his early promise delivered not a great deal. Granted he like Ernie etc had to play against Tiger at his best so suffered there but no way is Rory the new Phil.

  • Comment number 85.

    # 83

    I agree with majority that Rory vs TW comparison is way too premature. Okay he has won his 2nd major earlier than TW, so there are going to be comparisons drawn, but still too early to compare him to a legend of the game.

    Only reason I mooted Phil is because he too has never won an Open and seems to play better on certain courses in good weather. If he could have putted this week he would have been in with a real shout.

  • Comment number 86.

    Finally a real world number one.
    Its great to have someone at the top of the world of golf that deserves to be there. Since Tiger lost his crown a couple of years ago the number one spot has been filled with good golfers....but not great golfers....until now.
    Rory is without a doubt the most talented golfer in the world right now...the guy barely practices...only played 1 practice round before this event and it was his first time playing the course...and he runs away with it. Amazing.

  • Comment number 87.

    As I said Cyril Thomson was a very good and somewhat under rated by some player. Also bear in mind that the equipment back then was not as good as the stuff Watson and the modern day guys used.

  • Comment number 88.

    # 84

    Davey - I think he will end his career with stats of much greater applom than Phil - but think its a fairer comparison in terms of what they have both achieved thus far (discounting age of course) than with TW

  • Comment number 89.

    Well said James Matthew, everybody saying Rory was finished and distracted! I think he as just proven these people totally wrong!!

  • Comment number 90.

    Professional golf would be much more enjoyable to watch if players were restricted to 5 clubs : driver, 3 and 7 irons, sand wedge and putter. It would speed up the game.

  • Comment number 91.

    Sparticus do i know you?

  • Comment number 92.

    WHERE IS THE HUMBLE PIE

  • Comment number 93.

    @ - DBF, Bilo is back over in NI visiting family, he claims he was close to sorting a golf day with a possible famous name showing his face?
    Not spoke to him for a bit but I know he spat his dummy out with someone on the FB page (i don't know, don't go on facebook) and he's been quiet since then.
    Pity really, would of been class to sort a golf day.

  • Comment number 94.

    YB mm as I said I see where your coming from though I think if the weather conditions are right Rory will win and open. The most likely being St Andrews as its not as punishing as the other venues and also he has history of playing well there.
    He has a hint of the Phil game also in the respect that he is a bit gung ho at times and is stubborn in that he plays it his way and does not adjust. Phil as Butch said could win and have won more often by throttling back at times instead of chasing scores that he did not need to. He got sucked into a long drive challenge when paired with Bubba earlier this year just as an example.
    Rory plays golf his way much like Phil and Bubba and sometimes you win and look great on other days it can fall apart.

  • Comment number 95.

    L A Odicean - Comment 90 - Probably the worst comment i have ever read in my entire life!! What a load of old garbage! Is your name MattEfc by any chance??

  • Comment number 96.

    Having grown up watching Jack and Arnie, then Faldo and Seve( rip) and finally seeing Tiger come along and change the game completely, I was wondering who the next golfer would be to take the game to another level. Most of you on here know that I am a great Tiger fan (perhaps overly so sometimes) but with his seemingly but hopefully temporary decline I hope young Rory is the one to make this step.
    2 majors in 2 years is already a fabulous record. If he really wants to he can in time become a legend of the game and I hope I live long enough to see it.

  • Comment number 97.

    Sumo re Bilo the comment he took offence to was a joke but he took it badly and not as it was intended. The golf day will happen I still have a way of contacting Bilo and know you two are mates and play some golf together, I also believe you guys know Mickey Saus to?
    How is married life?

  • Comment number 98.

    Picks for Wyndham Championship:

    Jason Dufner
    Carl Pettersson
    Camilo Villegas

  • Comment number 99.

    # 94

    well put there - I can't remember who said it earlier in the week but someone commented that if at The Open Rory had been more conservative, gone for middle of greens instead of firing at the pin all the time - then he would have been in contention on the final day - then by all means untie the curly black locks and go for it

    maybe its something he will "learn" if he feels he needs to, to know when to be conservative and when to attack

    but if Phil and bubba and Rory stand over a shot and think yea I can nail this mother to within 3 foot over a bunker to a tight right pin with water to the right and a swirling wind - then why change your mindset?

    as you say when it comes off it reaps great rewards and when it doesn't he can go home to Wozzilroy and be comforted......

    also agree about St Andrews - when the weather is good there its a course that can be attacked - id he not shoot 63/64 there a couple of years ago?

    On a side note has anyone got any drills or tips for sharpening the 100 - 40yd shots to the green. Only weakness at the moment and im fed up of smashing a drive down a fairway and not capitalising.......

  • Comment number 100.

    Cyril can we let the Matt thing go your a forthright guy and Matt Loves Tiger as we all know.
    Regarding Watson a true gent of the game and possibly would have won more majors but had some tough competitors mainly one Jack Nicklaus another great of the game if not the greatest of all time. It would have been amazing if he had won the play off and beat Cink but it just was not to be. He will always be remembered as great champion and links player.

 

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