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Magic McIlroy fulfils major destiny

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Rob Hodgetts | 20:59 UK time, Sunday, 19 June 2011

Rory McIlroy's coronation as a major champion was an "accident waiting to happen".

That's according to his good friend and fellow Northern Irishman Graeme McDowell, the previous winner of the US Open.

The 22-year-old McIlroy clinched his maiden major title with a start-to-finish victory at Congressional that sent shivers down the spine of the golfing world.

McIlroy now has held at least a share of the lead after seven of his last eight major rounds and he has led at some stage in his last four majors.

But what made it all the more remarkable was that McIlroy was playing in his first major since his aberration at Augusta.

In April, he led the Masters for three rounds before blowing a four-shot lead heading in the final day, collapsing spectacularly with a final-round 80.

They say what doesn't kill you makes you stronger but that's not always the case in sport. The line about learning lessons is always trotted out, but the mental baggage that accompanies near-misses must always be there in the background, ready to rear its ugly head should a similar situation arise.

McIlroy, though, did take the positives from Augusta and tacked them onto his natural game to dominate at Congressional in a manner not seen since Tiger Woods was in his pomp.

Rory McIlroyMcIlroy won his first major title in his 10th major as a pro

Such was his preeminence, his post-Masters mettle was not tested to the full, but he shattered record after record during his relentless march to victory which should tell its own story.

According to McDowell, McIlroy has been headed for "superstardom" since he first picked up a club.

Born in Holywood, Northern Ireland in 1989, to mum Rosie and golf-mad dad Gerry, a two-handicapper, he hit a 40-yard drive at the age of two and fired his first hole in one in 1998.

Bitten by the golf bug, his working-class parents took multiple jobs and devoted their lives to ferrying young Rory, whose idol was Woods, to tournaments at home and abroad. He won the World Under-10 Championship in Doral, Florida, in 1998, beating 80 players from 24 countries.

Shortly after turning 16, he shot a course-record 61 at Royal Portrush and played in the European Masters as an amateur. The following year he became the European amateur champion and represented Ireland in the Amateur World Championship.

"I first heard about him when he shot that 61 at my home course," said McDowell.
"You hear rumours about people and good players come and go, but this kid was
something a bit special."

Already a star in amateur golf circles, it was in 2007 that McIlroy became known to the wider public. First, he made the cut in the European Tour's Dubai Desert Classic - earning the status as the world's number one amateur - and then shot a first-round 68 in the Open Championship at Carnoustie, going onto tie for 42nd and won the Silver Medal for leading amateur.

McIlroy delayed his entry into the professional ranks to play in the Walker Cup for Great Britain and Ireland that September, and straight after turned pro, aged 18.

He made the cut in his first tournament, came third in his second and secured his playing card for 2008 with a fourth at the next.

By November 2008 he had become the youngest player ever to reach the world's top 50 and in February the next year he won his first pro tournament, the Dubai Desert Classic.

That prompted praise from Woods's great friend and mentor Mark O'Meara.

"Ball-striking wise at 19, he's probably better than what Tiger was at 19," said the American, the 1988 Masters and Open champion.

The following April McIlroy played in his first major, finishing 10th at the Masters, and in August he came third in the year's final major, the USPGA.

After finishing second to Lee Westwood in the European Tour rankings at the end of the year he entered the world's top 10 for the first time, only the second 20-year-old after Sergio Garcia to achieve the feat.

Expectation was high going into the 2010 Masters, but he missed the cut and slunk back home to Belfast to lick his wounds.

McIlroy came back firing, though, and shortly after won his first PGA Tour event in America, shooting a final-round 62 at Quail Hollow to become the first player since Tiger Woods to win on the US circuit before his 21st birthday.

At the Open in July, McIlroy gave a forewarning of what was to come, both the good and the bad. He shot a nine-under 63 in the first round at St Andrews but was blown off course by strong winds on day two, amassing an 80 before finishing 68, 69 to place third.

Another third followed in the USPGA at Whistling Straits in August and he headed to the Masters this year full of hope.

But one pulled tee shot on the 10th hole of that fateful final round prompted an implosion. Humbled, he earned worldwide plaudits for facing the media after the round. "It's only golf," he said. But the wider perspective masks a determination to be the

Plenty of players strive their whole careers to win just one major, but for McIlroy you suspect there are more where this came from.

McIlroy's Masters meltdown might have gone down in history, but the coronation at Congressional could become the stuff of legend.


  • Comment number 1.

    Genius round. He did all the hard work on Thursday and Friday, and all he needed to do was shoot for par. That he went better and carded under-par scores on all his rounds shows just how good this player can be. I hope that he is able to keep his feet on the ground, and I'm sure his parents and his friends will make sure he does.

    Every single round in his career has been a learning experience. And rather than shrink away from the challenge as so many do, he stepped up, shrugged off disappointment, and just got on with it.

    It's too early in his career to say just how good he can be, but he's going to win many more majors before he decides to down clubs.

  • Comment number 2.

    What a player! phenomenal. the mental strength of the guy is unreal? how many other people would have blown a four shot lead, then at the next major just carried on as normal?!

    Can you imagine wha must have been going on in his head when he teed off today?

    Well done Rory! legend!

  • Comment number 3.

    OK. McElroy played superbly. No taking that away from him.

    The only thing that has to be tempered is the praise over this singular tournament and the -16 score. It MUST be noted that this was an atypical US Open course. The rough was nowhere as nasty as it has been in years past. The greens were super receptive because of the rain that occurred. This prevented the greens from drying out and becoming lightening quick. There were a number of times when RM was in the rough this year, that he could get the club on and muscle it to the green. With proper US Open rough, he never would have been able to, likely leading to higher scores.

    Any comparisons to Woods at Pebble Beach during the 2000 US Open should be shot down immediately. When TW won by 15 at -12 the closest to him was Els (and one other) who were at +3. The disparity between 1 & 2 in 2000 should be the telling factor.

    I used to get royally cheesed off when NBC spent almost every minute of their telecast on TW. The cheering of this athlete made me sick. I watched the Sky telecast today and it was the EXACT same thing. Monty and Butch Harmon couldn't have praised RM more if they wanted to. The best this, the best that. The hype machine is now in overdrive. The media over here are desperately looking for a new superstar to promote their product. For now, RM is it.

    All that being said - which is more a condemnation of the media than it is of Rory - I see him being a more than very good golfer, As in post 1, it is too early to say how many majors he could win but I hope it's more than a few.

  • Comment number 4.

    From one Irishman to another, I say "well done, Rory", I watched the last round today on the Internet & you wouldn't think he even remembered the Masters, but he did & has put himself together again & now "Wow" he's an "USA Open Champion". That was only the start, now watch him win "Everything".

  • Comment number 5.

    #3 - McIlroy won by eight shots. The only player to card a double-figure under-par score. The course still played tough, yes it wasn't as tough as some would like but it was still tough enough to leave many world-class golfers wondering what they had to do to card a decent score.

    All of his hard work was done on the first two days, he took the course by the scruff of its neck in a way that nobody else could.

    And of course the media are going to praise him to high heaven, he's just broken I don't know how many different records. They're hardly going to say "Well it was average play, the course was too easy" are they?

  • Comment number 6.

    @5. Funnily enough the only one to bring down the Sky broadcaster's down was G-Mac. He voiced what I was trying to say and he did it in a way that put RM in a proper perspective. Great play but tempered by the more than somewhat benign playing conditions. I guess when Sky started making the 2000 comparison I got a little sick. TW won by 15 on a brutal course. Pebble set up like a US Open (not the PGA stop) is far more difficult than Congressional.

    It also shook me how hypocritical some of the Brits were. That they were disgusted with the over-coverage of TW by NBC but fine with the over-the-top commentary by Monty, Harmon, and all at Sky. If it's bad for one, it must be bad for the other.

    As I started out and finished my first post saying, RM did what he had to do superbly. I hope he goes on to great things. He seems to have the physical and mental skills to do very well.

  • Comment number 7.

    Why is it that when McIlroy unravelled at the Masters he was Irish but now when he wins the US Open he is ''a briton''? Seriously??

  • Comment number 8.

    As an Irishman living in Thailand, I watched the coverage (which on Asian ESPN was awful) until 7am here. It was well worth losing a nights sleep. His trip to Haiti to me was one of the real keys to his success. Sure he is a real talent but I think that experience really gave him perspective on life and how lucky he is to be doing what he is doing. The monkey is now off his back. I just hope he can live with the fame and expectation that will follow. Can you imagine the build up to the Open Championship now? I really hope Tiger Woods is fully recovered and plays also. Lastly, it couldn't happen to a nicer guy. Thanks Rory you made my day.

  • Comment number 9.

    Superquad seems to miss the point completely. They were all playing the same course and the difference was 8 strokes. If part of the game is mental, he is mentally very tough, but in addition a beautiful swing and able to play any shot he wants. I enjoyed watching him more than I ever enjoyed watching Tiger. This not to diminish Tiger at Pebble and clearly Rory has a long way to go to even challenge Tiger's record. I just hope that the fame and money don't wreck this wonderful young talent. Oh one other thing, right now it is great to have champion who plays fast!!! Maybe all us amateurs will pick up the pace and get on with it!

  • Comment number 10.

    Never thought I'd be commenting on Golf!! Didn't watch any of it but kept up with it through the BBC. The meltdown at Augusta may turn out to be a blessing in disguise, and be the catalyst to make him the great he can undoubtedly become. Now that he has won his first major, that will give him the confidence in the future. I also think the manner of this victory will put pressure on him come the Open. If he can handle that, then anything is possible. Well Done Rory!!

  • Comment number 11.

    Fantastic performance, wonderful stuff by Rory.

    Let's take pleasure in this performance, congratulate him and hope that this is the start of a great Major career.

    And remember that, forty one years ago, our Open Champion went to the US Open, led every round and won by seven strokes. A couple of years later the great Tony Jacklin lost a tournament he would have hoped to have won and was effectively finished as a Major force.

    I don't for one moment expect that to happen to Rory, but let this cautionary tale be a warning, especially to the media, not to expect too much too soon.

  • Comment number 12.

    There was only one man in with a chance this week. McIlroy's iron play was truly spectacular, and he deserves much of the praise he's receiving. The rest of the field was left well and truly in the wake of a 22 year old who is clearly going to win more majors. As far as comparisons to Tiger go, not quite. To beat the field by eight was remarkable. It was as close to the Tiger performance of 2000 as there has been at the US open, but still doesn't touch it (which says a great deal about that Tiger Woods). Only one guy was under par that tournament (and it's not as though the others were that close to being), and he was -12...are you kidding me?! He was almost four shots a round better than everyone else in the field in what is the most dominant performance there has been. However, these comparisons are pointless. McIlroy won by miles...he's going to win more, probably a couple also by miles. Let's enjoy his play

  • Comment number 13.

    I don't care if he's Irish, British, or comes from Timbuktu! He's a lovely lad with a god given talent and a credit to his parents, who must be bursting with pride about now.

    Golf needs a new young hero (after Tigers fall from grace/form), and god willing, if he manages to keep his feet on the ground, he'll be it...if he isn't already!

    I've been walking around with a big grin on my face all day long. A fantastic result for golf. Well done lad.

  • Comment number 14.

    Golfers of all levels everywhere will be celebrating today Rory. Your wonderful achievement will lift the spirit of Irish hearts and give great joy to your Mum and Dad.

  • Comment number 15.

    Understand where superquad1968 is coming from BUT:
    Taking pure score does not mean a lot, e.g. St Andrews with or without the wind is a completely different animal as we all know. It is also a bit of luck involved with tee off times too!!!
    The winning margin on a reasonably consistent weather/course should give the real clues......
    You don't win by 8 strokes in a major if you are not pretty special. Tiger's 2000 US Open was absolutely amazing, but probably a one-off.... it proved in 2000 that Tiger was so far ahead with his game & approach HOWEVER the field has since closed in.... so an eight shot margin in the US Open is pretty special if I may say....
    Whether he can do it again & again is a different matter..... but given this fellow's mentality, he could carry on for a while yet.....let's hope we will see RM's smile on the fairways for a long time to come.....

  • Comment number 16.

    Rob, I don't follow golf that much, but in your report you state that McIlroy "becomes the second straight Northern Irishman to win the US Open..." Can anyone tell me if any gay Nortern Irishmen have won it, and is sexual orientation important in golf? Anyway, congratulations to the young man - it seems like a fantastic achievement.

  • Comment number 17.

    "Northern"... please excuse my typo

  • Comment number 18.

    Take a Bow Rory... His performance, attitude, focus and tee to green play was probably the best we will ever see....

    Just let's hope he doesnt get carried away (a la TW)...... but from the looks of it he has the right focus and rhythm to become World No 1 in a few months....

  • Comment number 19.

    As others have said, the Monty, Livingstone et al coverage at Sky ridiculous, giving it to him after the second round with a good lead was equally unfair on him but he got the job done. Sky and it seems World Golf media are desperate to replace the void TW's melt down has left in the game. But there are genuinely no grounds to be churlish about RM, even accepting atypical receptive US Open course - he won post to post, recovered incredibly well from his Masters collapse, coped with the pressures to beat the field by 8 shots and is a dominant Champion; stats, records, & comparisons with TW or others are fatuous and irrelevant; the fact is that it was a great performance and he is a worthy Champion. On the back of the near miss in April, leading The Open last year, his win at Quail Hollow and his rapid rise up the rankings by 22 he is a genuine star - he hasn't come out of left field like Oosthuizen or Yang or Schwarzel, all fine players but largely unknown outside the golf cognescenti. I am just delighted he has got the "yet to win a major" monkey off his back early, did fear he'd be another Sergio, and the longer it went on until he won one, the more it woukd be ramped up. Confident he can go on from here now and not be a one win wonder.

  • Comment number 20.

    I'm surprised at the negative comments about RM, such as the benign greens and the rough being nowhere as nasty as other years. That's as maybe but weren't these the same conditions for all players?

    Apart from the quality of his player surely the significance is that RM was in a similar position a few months ago and blew it. This time he kept his nerve, didn't let his previous defeat prey on his mind and continued with the same quality of play. This I think is the mark of a true champion.

  • Comment number 21.

    Great win! Great entertainment!

  • Comment number 22.

    Amazing achievement! Not surprisingly McIlroy vWoods now becomes the topic of debate. Well just for now,I don't give a damn. Rory was sensational through four rounds in the US Open. He beat the best golfers in the world on a track that -(just for comparison) ordinary amateur scratch golfers would shoot into the 90's. He beat the gremlins that must have been running riot in his head before the start of his last round,and he gave a natural and self deprecating winners interview. Well done Rory,just keep your feet on the ground and remember the values your parents gave you.

  • Comment number 23.

    Paulinjapan, Funny/Ridiculous can`t decide which comment I have ever read.

    As for Rory fantastic,Yes the course not as tough as previous Opens with a forgiving rough,but what I could see he was hitting mostly fairways.Delighted for him,but more for myself when I stroll into Ladbrokes later to pick up my winnings for keeping faith with Rory :)

  • Comment number 24.

    I like Rory's smooth swing but this guy is no Tiger yet.
    It seems that Rory McIlroy is celebrated out of "dislike" towards Tiger Woods.

    TW is still iconic and he is still very well alive and in his golden age. He got an injury and he will be back.

    RM is yet to prove that he us the new face of golf, supplanting Woods as the world's greatest player.

    His fellow Irish Padraig Harrington, is quick to proclaim that McIlroy, not Woods, was the player he thought had the best chance to break Jack Nicklaus' record of 18 major championship victories. Kinna funny since TW already got 16 under his belt...

  • Comment number 25.

    Sorry TW got 14 Majors victory I should say..

  • Comment number 26.

    'Kinna funny since TW already got 16 under his belt...'

    That is indeed funny, the last time I checked TW had won 14 majors!

  • Comment number 27.

    Firstly let me add my congratulations, what a display! I have never been a fan of Tiger, his golf is great but then man never impressed me, and the US authorities always seemed to be bitten by the Tiger bug, he always got decisions go his way, rock in the desert, ball over the clubhouse incidents proved that. So when Rory burst onto the scene I expected another 'Tiger'. I even said he would never make it into the big time. I have always looked up to Jack, the best in my book, and not just in golfing terms. But now I have just seen a man that could challenge Jack. Rory is pleasant, he's good to those round him, he's polite and respectful of others, everything that Tiger isn't and everything that Jack is. I am a Rory convert, in fact I am really impressed with just about all the Euro players for what they have done over the years, and now there is a young pretender who can takes things to the next level. So look out Paul, Ian, Lee, Justin, Luke, Martyn and the rest the new boy is here, and isn't he great? Europe is looking strong, but please Rory play in Europe for a bit longer, you are the new Seve in terms of crowds. Right it's the Open next, who can beat Rory to the jug? 5 Majors without a US winner, it's brill!

  • Comment number 28.

    In the 1974 US Open (at Winged Foot I believe) a certain young inexperienced US tour player went into the final round leading and shot 79! His name was Tom Watson. The next year he won the Open at Carnoustie

  • Comment number 29.

    To adyp28, number 7:

    I think the reality is that in both the Masters and the US Open he has been mentioned as both Irish and British, which is completely fair as he is both. Get that chip off your shoulder

  • Comment number 30.

    @7 - Get a grip mate! I'm English and was amazed at how fantastic this irishman, ulsterman, brit.. played! What a player what a tournament! well done that Man. NI must be very proud of their golfers! Well done Rory

  • Comment number 31.

    @7 And more to the point given that it's golf were talking about here surely were all European and NOT American? I couldn't care less if he was from Spain, Germany, least it was another Major with no HELL YEAH YANK winning it!

  • Comment number 32.

    What's all the fuss about?

    Rory has been shooting worse scores each day since the US Open started (65, 66, 68 & 68.)

    At this rate he'll be shooting 80s again by the time next year's event comes around.

    Just kidding - well done RMC

  • Comment number 33.

    That SHOULD have been written

    Rory has been shooting worse scores each day since the US Open started (65, 66, 68 & 69.)

  • Comment number 34.

    On TV they say he's from Hollywood but anywhere I've seen it written it's Holywood. So which is it?

  • Comment number 35.

    here it comes, the "who's allowed to claim him as one of their own" conversation. I swear this NEVER GETS OLD, doesn't matter which sportsman you're talking about

  • Comment number 36.

    @34 it's spelt Holywood and pronounced the same as Hollywood

  • Comment number 37.

    Well I knew he was good but not that good. Awesome display of tee to green ball striking - won by 8 and didn't even putt any better than solid. Short game barely required, in fact. Amazing. Regardless of whether Tiger gets back or not (which I hope he does), golf needs a new superstar player and Rory looks the part. Woods comparisons a little fanciful at present (this wasn't quite Pebble 2000) but they may not be if he backs this up and keeps improving. Hard to see another winner at Sandwich right now.

    Just one thing, though: I don't see why so many people seem to view golf through this 'Europe v America' lens. For me, that's Ryder Cup ... a bit of biennial fun ... and nowhere else. It's a supremely individual sport and we've just seen a supremely gifted individual win the US Open. Would have been no less thrilling if he'd come from Fort Worth, Texas.

  • Comment number 38.

    7.At 04:51 20th Jun 2011, adyp28 wrote:
    Why is it that when McIlroy unravelled at the Masters he was Irish but now when he wins the US Open he is ''a briton''? Seriously??

    Don't do this rubbish, not least because its completely untrue - Sky made a massive amount of two back to back Northern Irish wins.

    As an Englishman I always cheered on Monty or Woosnam, for example, as much as Faldo (actually more so as I preferred their game) and like many probably wanted Sevy to win just about everything, so where does that leave your argument?

    Take national pride as a positive by all means, but golf is also very much about individuals and I look forward to backing Rory for hopefully many years to come.

  • Comment number 39.

    @37 & 38

    Very well said to the both of you.

    Great play from McIlroy, well done that man. I take part of the glory by choosing not to put money on him this time!

  • Comment number 40.

    Pedantry alert: Don't think the 2009 Masters was his first Major - although it might have been his first major 'as a professional'. As you indicated he had already competed in the 2007 Open as an amateur.

    Great four days golf from McIlroy.

  • Comment number 41.

    Why the brickbats at Mcilroy ?

    Remember, this lad lost it big style just 4 months ago !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Irrespective of what you think of the course (and tell me when Woods has really performed at our Opens bar St Andrews), this lad produced a mental strength that the likes of Westwood must be gnashing his teeth at.

    Lets remember where this lad finished as an amateur in the Open, and its not that long ago.

    Forget the hyperbole about Mcilroy being the replacement for Woods, that is the modern day hype that the likes of SKY like to perpetuate (just like the English Premier League is the greatest thing since slice bread). Neither of them in truth given old style courses and old style equipment could lace Jack Nicklaus's boots (but credit to Mcilroy for seeking the master's advice).

    Yes a bit of perspective is required but when you do in Mcilroy's case just remember back a few weeks and celebrate the mental strength.

  • Comment number 42.

    The king is dead, long live the king.

  • Comment number 43.

    Rory McIlroy is the same nationality as Andy Murray :)

  • Comment number 44.

    @41 John wrote "and tell me when Woods has really performed at our Opens bar St Andrews"

    Hoylake wasn't too bad.

    Agree though, it was an incredible turn around since his collapse at The Masters, he's obviously been working really hard on not just his game but the psychology of golf. He looked in total control for all 4 days.

  • Comment number 45.


    What do old style courses and old school equipment have to do with anything? Nicklaus was a man of his era as are Woods and McIlroy. Your arguement is a bit hare-brained to be honest.

  • Comment number 46.

    As a golf fan, the whole USA against Europe against South Africa now it seems is a bit silly, we leave the former two for the Ryder Cup. Nothing is better than seeing someone playing truly magical golf and that is what matters. If it had been Mannesero or Ishikawa or Ricky Fowler doing this, the hype would be the same because everyone wants to see the next young talent that we haven't seen since Woods. There's something wonderful about, bearing in mind that Rory isn't much older than myself, seeing raw talent reaching potential like McIlroy is starting to achieve on the biggest stage possible. After feeling the heartbreak of Augusta, I never felt like he would lose it, it was supreme golf, something I have never seen before, certainly not from someone other than Woods. And my two cents about all the records are that it can't be highlighted enough. For me, weather isn't the be all and end all in fact it skews the results. Chances are, tournaments that are held during bad conditions, that the winners of such tournaments are usually those that make the best of the better conditions during the event and it's a bigger achievment that when all the conditions are equal, Rory still outclassed everyone.

  • Comment number 47.

    What I really don't understand with all of the jibes surrounding it being the 'easiest' US Open ever, the greens, the rough etc etc. The fact is that all of the players had exactly the same condition and Rory blew them away in the first two days, when the course was at it's toughest. The USGA then altered pins and tees to try and allow the rest of the field to catch him up - nobody did. Also, the criticism that it was more a PGA Tour stop set-up than US Open set up baffles me given that Dustin Johnson, Bubba 'the idiot' Watson, Kuchar, Mahan et al play those courses week in week out and were shown up by Congressional to be the average overhyped players they are.

    You can only play what's in front of you and that's exactly what Rory did, he was incredible and made the game look so easy, which it isn't. Congratulations Weemon, let's have a shed load more.

  • Comment number 48.

    I agree with a lot of the posts already that i couldnt care less where this kid comes from....his golf was sublime for 4 days, and he comes across as a thoroughly nice guy - much more likable than TW in my opinion (which everyone in the world seems obsessed with comparing him to!). I cant remember ever being so thoroughly engrossed in the Golf...maybe only watching Faldo claw back that huge deficit to Norman at Augusta in 96 comes close!

    As majestic as the 4 rounds were, i think all these comparisons with TW and the "is he better argument" is a little bit futile. Tiger Woods was a machine, he has 14 majors and held the Number one spot for 281 weeks a 22 year old who has won his first major can be compared to that is beyond me. I understand he has years ahead to win many more titles, but until that happens i dont think the comparisons are fair. For years and years the plaudits have been hailing TW as the greatest golfer to walk the planet (with Nicklaus) not sure how he can lose that status quite so easily!

    All that aside, he is a fearsome talent and i for one cant wait to watch him again.....and again....and again! Well played Sir!

  • Comment number 49.

    That Masters implosion might be the killer blow for the rest of the golfing field... Rory now knows what it feels like to fail spectacularly and then win in style. This must be a huge mental advantage for future events and will ensure he never gets the 'nearly man' tag that plagues so many of the other talented UK golfers on the tour. Move over Tiger...

  • Comment number 50.

    29, 30

    how many english sportsmen/women get labelled british when they are on the up or win something? pretty much.

  • Comment number 51.

    Well done Rory.

    For me, the best bit of the weekend is how down-to-earth and personable he is even after the performance of his career (to date). In a world that is obsessed by so-called celebrities and over-paid self-absorbed footballers with little to no understanding of the word "morals", it is nice to see a genuine guy getting the plaudits he deserves.

  • Comment number 52.

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

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

    Well done Rory!

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

  • Comment number 53.

    To all those who wish to try and compare Rory to Wodds in his pomp, just remember Rory McIlroy has three things Tiger never had or ever will have:

    1. Humility
    2. Charm
    3. Charisma

    Each of the above is worth more than any number of majors

  • Comment number 54.

    Well done to Rory, a young man with a gift for golf lets hope he keeps his feet on the ground and goes on to be what he wants to be, don't compare yourself with anyone else you are what you are.
    Just play the great game of golf and enjoy your life.

  • Comment number 55.

    colin @ 53

    Humility, I agree, Tiger has zero. And charm, not much more, close to zero (although this wasn't the case when he was Rory's age, as I recall, and that grin of his is still quite attractive).

    But no charisma? C'mon! Woods is massively charismatic. If you look the word up, consider the definition, you'll see that it's clearly wrong to say he has little or no charisma. Or just check out some of the footage.

  • Comment number 56.

    Wanted to add my bit--Rory's performance was outstanding, and it was good to see him play so wonderfully--all the more so on Sunday after the events in Augusta a few weeks back.

    I'd also like to not the inevitable jingoism that goes on these posts--and echo my thoughts that one's nationality shouldn't play as big a role as some on these boards let on. His performance stands on it's own as his--whether he was from US or Kenya neither adds nor detracts in my opinion. I appreciated that the crowds were chanting "Rory" much of Saturday and Sunday--they realized the special talent he has, and the demon he would be fighting after his Masters meltdown.

    Those chants also I feel go towards a point I was making a few weeks back when Nick Faldo was talking about the world #1 ranking, and some of the American press that many felt was Americans not being able to see a non-US ranked #1. At the time, I posted that American golf fans have favored foreigners in the past (Norman, Player, Faldo to name a few), and the angst was more down to none of Donald, Kaymer, Westwood really looking the part of a #1--i.e. being able to consistently dominant tournaments--especially majors. They just didn't seem to be worthy of the #1 rating--all able and consistent golfers, but lacking that bit that you say "he's the best there is." In Rory, I think we may have that, the crowds at Congressional (and to a lesser degree Augusta) realized it, and I hope he continues to flourish.

  • Comment number 57.

    Jingo ism overdone but not superlatives. That was a dominant wire to wire display by a rare talent. Understand point made by 56 above but I do think Westwood showed that type of constant quality in hanging in there. It is difficult to dominates these days. Deep fields good players but Rory was too good this week and would have beaten anyone from any era.

  • Comment number 58.

    here it comes, the "who's allowed to claim him as one of their own" conversation. I swear this NEVER GETS OLD, doesn't matter which sportsman you're talking about


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