Just What the Doctor Ordered

No chance of choking. Rory McIlroy is on the path to putting the dark days behind and beginning his new era of being golf’s next superstar. Quite fitting that he did it in Tiger Woods fashion.

The PGA needed a star to break out sooner rather than later. They were due. The ratings probably weren’t all that great for a Sunday afternoon at the US Open but over these 4 days Rory McIlroy has made sure that people will be glued to their television sets for the next major.

It’s no secret that golf has been faltering with the absence of Tiger Woods. With 11 different winners in the last 11 majors there is very little reason for the casual fan to tune in. Nobodies winning isn’t very much fun. This 11th different champion changes the whole landscape of golf though.

Rory McIlroy can single handily launch golf back into relevance. He may not be American or have the flare of Tiger Wood but let’s face it, he is a golfer. You can’t expect Tiger Woods charisma out of every PGA star. McIlroy is likeable and isn’t boring. He’s a nice kid.

What more can you ask for?

Dominance can be boring but not when you haven’t seen it for a while. The rarer the flower, the sweeter it is. Dominance is exactly what the sport is begging for right now.

Boring is waiting for the next superstar to arrive but finally realizing that you are only setting yourself up for disappointment. Can you really blame me for being so skeptical towards McIlroy’s mental make-up?

The commentators were drooling over McIlroy and his “Adonis” looking follow through. The crowd was digging every shot and already chanting “Rory!” after he almost holed his tee shot on the 10th hole. Even his colleagues are in awe of his astonishing talent.

If Tiger Woods can come back healthy, which at this point looks unlikely, it would be wonderful to see the Irishman and the American go head-to-head against each other. That’s something that Tiger has lacked his whole career. He has lacked a true competitor that could go shot for shot with him. All the great one’s had it and Tiger never did. It takes away from his greatness.

Related: And in This Corner, the Challenger is…

Rory McIlroy is in a similar place to Tiger. He has the opportunity and talent to take the PGA tour by the throat. Guys like Ryo Ishikawa and Rickie Fowler are still young but haven’t shown the signs the McIlroy is giving us.

McIlroy could be alone at the top like Tiger Woods. Golf would be fun again. You need someone to root for or, at least, root against each weekend to make it interesting. Someone who is a real threat to contend each and every week. Love it or hate it, a dominant superstar is undeniably intriguing.

Rory McIlroy is doing for golf what Lindsay Lohan does for late night talk shows. With the annual summer sports lull, this couldn’t have come at a better time. He is the ultimate water cooler material right now.

Everyone at the PGA head office is breathing a little bit easier.

Even though Congressional played easier due to the heavy rain, Rory McIlroy made golfing a US Open course look like child’s play. He made the weekend an absolute laugher in a manner that could only be accomplished by a superstar. You don’t see Luke Donald or Lee Westwood doing much of that.

The past 4 days should have convinced the world that there is a reason to watch golf and his name is Rory McIlroy.

Agree? Disagree? If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, please feel free to reply in the comments section below. Or you can e-mail me at cross_can15@hotmail.com. Also, follow me on twitter @paintstheblack and I will gladly return the favour.

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About Chris Ross
Questions, comments, suggestions? Send yours to cross_can15@hotmail.com. Follow me on twitter @paintstheblack

15 Responses to Just What the Doctor Ordered

  1. cupcrazy12 says:

    McIlroy played with the game with pure class and athleticism. As much as everyone complained the hole locations were easier than previous years, he was the only one to be -16. If they were that easy, everyone would of been in double digit negatives. He has the potential to be the leader for the PGA for years to come at 22 years old. Hopefully he is able to harness his talent and stayed dedicated to his craft.

    If anyone would like to check out my blog, feel free to wage your opinion on the topic!

  2. J. R. Telfer says:

    I’m excited to see what Rory’s future will look like. The PGA certainly has missed Tiger’s dominance as far as ratings go. If Rory does reach superstardom like Tiger , I hope he will handle his social life a little more modestly. But, golf is a ridiculously hard sport. It’s certainly an amazing feat to perform the way Rory did yesterday and the way Tiger did in 2000 at Pebble Beach. So, I’ll just enjoy observing greatness while it’s around… You are right about the Tiger vs Rory thing. That would be very fun to watch.

  3. aimlowgolf says:

    My take on Rory is fairly simple. He’s a guy with a stunning swing and a good head.

    I don’t know that he is going to be the next Tiger for a variety of reasons, but the main ones being these.

    He doesn’t have the same competitive edge that Tiger, Seve, Nicklaus or even Arny had, or at least he doesn’t show it. I’m sure he wants to win, you can’t not want to win when you put up numbers like that, but I think he does have a slight “new ageness” to his personality (if you want to call it anything). I think in the end he knows he’ll win, and he’s not concerned with pegging aspirations on his career, he just wants to go out and do whatever he’s going to do. That is somewhat evident in his very relaxed screen captures as he’s getting to the course or on the practice tees, and even on the course.

    Rory also doesn’t tinker with his swing. While Tiger messed with it for physical reasons, he also made sure to develop something new with each new swing, so that he can exploit a new shot or technique, etc. Rory is very content with his swing, and honestly there’s no reason he shouldn’t be. That being said, tinkering has a certain benefit that, if you can get through it, changes or adds to your game. In many ways it’s a gamble, but it can pay off big.

    Finally, Rory isn’t a dead to rights putter. He often changes putter, and has had 3 different ones in play this year I believe, all with different configurations. While he putted extremely well in this tournament, there were still times where he didn’t look comfortable, and it just showed. Tiger until recently, was probably the best putter in the game. In 2000 when he won the 100th U.S. Open by 15 strokes, he was making putts from just about anywhere he could. Rory had a lot of success this week because the guy was just brilliant at keeping the ball within 6 to 8 feet, and he limited anything over 15 feet to a pretty low percentage. In reality, that’s what everyone wants to do in theory on the golf course, but that’s not something that was necessary for Tiger to win. He thrived when the pressure was on and he was on the green. Rory traditionally doesn’t, and it still remains to be seen if he will.

    I don’t want any of this to sound like I’m dogging the guy though, he was fantastic this week and deserves all the credit in the world. As I said in my blog, I do not believe his performance was greater then Tiger’s despite the lower score,but it did make a believer out of me. In fact, if it didn’t win over some people, I think you can officially call them haters. The guy seems to be about as lovable as you can get in sports, definitely one of the “good” guys.

    If anyone is generally interested in golf and would like, you can checkout my blog @ http://aimlowgolf.wordpress.com

  4. Adam says:

    How soon we forget the likes of Phil Mickelson, Sergio Garcia, Padraig Harrington, and other players who also excelled in the midst of Tiger’s prowess. While Rory will certainly appear to have more “talent” going “shot-for-shot” against him in future tournaments, Woods also had his fair share of competition to deal with. The difference, of course, is that Tiger was so dominant that this competition was lessened thanks to the sheer brilliance that Woods would display in a tournament. I suspect we will see the same is Rory can maintain his major dominance.

  5. theduffer says:

    Great post. Rory is great for golf. I think though he is at this point still just a part of a generation of golfers to watch out for. Guys in their twenties are busting out and the growing number of contenders just makes golf even more interesting. We are seeing a renaissance for the game where masters are plying their trade left and right. Golf is in for exciting times. Thanks for checking out my post too.

  6. chappy81 says:

    I thought just last year you called mcillroy a flop now you’re calling him the next big thing? Please explain you’re change of heart instead of analyzing his weekend….

    • Chris Ross says:

      I did say that but I think when you have a performance like that there is no way to justify that he is a flop. I could be a stubborn mule who is unable to admit when I am wrong but that’s not what I want to do. You make statements and you have to live with the fact that sometimes you can’t always be right. Right now, I’m conceding the fact that I have almost surely been proven wrong and showing that this is exactly the thing golf has been asking for. I love the game of golf and I’m happy to see that the PGA, at least looks, to have its new star.

      • chappy81 says:

        Ok hahaha! It was just the first thing I thought of when I saw you wrote another Rory post. I’m glad your a golf fan even with Tiger not being very good! It seems like a lot of people who don’t like golf just write stuff like this saying so and so are the next big thing after a big win. I’ve always rooted against Tiger for one reason or another, and appreciate all the other players just as much as him. I hope Rory does great for the next couple decades, he’s got a lot more Phil in his character, which I like, so I’m sure the PGA would love for him to be the next big thing. I’m hoping Jason Day, Dustin Johnson and Rory to be battling it out for years to come…

  7. spike8 says:

    Good assessment. I agree for the most part with aimlowgolf as well. I think there are more ways McIlroy is different from Tiger than ways he is similar to him, and that is what will draw people to him right now. I’m glad to have a reason to be excited to watch golf again, although I also greatly enjoyed the Masters this year as well.

  8. klownboy says:

    Well said, my man. Thanks for checking out my blog…

  9. loganlight says:

    Even if Tiger comes back for one more run, something I believe he will do, I don’t think Rory is up to par (no pun intended) to become that adversary that challenges Tiger. I would have loved to see both players enter the game at the same time and create a true rivalry… but as it stands now, they are in two different stages of their careers. Tiger is MJ with the Wizards, capable of putting together some incredible runs while we marvel that he is still able to get it done, while Rory is Kobe circa 2001, up and coming relying on pure talent. We’ll see McIlroy learn the game more and thus his trophies will pile up, but I don’t think he will have the command that Woods once had. I don’t think anyone will.

    I, like many people, would like to see a golfer take that number one spot with authority – instead of by process of elimination. Perhaps Rory can do that in time. I think that when he’s ready, we will be too.


  10. Let’s hope McIlroy deals with success better than Lindsay Lohan:-) Keep up the great writing.

  11. ballcaps says:

    “Everyone at the PGA head office is breathing a little bit easier.”

    You hit that one right on the screws. I was thinking the same thing while watching Sunday. Since the Fall of Tiger, the game has been waiting for the next magnetic figurehead. McIlroy fits the bill. He’ll need another victory or two to really kick it into gear. Nonetheless, his victory at Congressional was one for the ages.

  12. Excellent post. Golf needs a great player to go up against Tiger the way all sports need their great rivalries. I am hoping that McIlroy and Woods can develop into a Federer and Nadal quality rivalry. At least in the short-term golf has its fix with McIlroy. They cannot continue to have people watch just for Tiger’s dominance. Some fresh blood never hurt anyone.

  13. Mcfaggen says:

    Interesting views…

    As someone from Northern Ireland – who only discovered golf with Graeme McDowell – I’ve been thrilled with Rory’s performance this past year or so. Sure he blew up at the Masters, but he played three wonderful rounds there in the goldfish bowl and I think the US Open proved that he’d learnt quite a bit about the situation and himself.

    In terms of golf, I think Tiger invigorated the sport for a while, but to the likes of me, his persistent winning started to turn me off even trying to get interested in the game. The emergence of a challenger to him, during his peak would have been good for golf, in my mind. Think Borg and McEnroe.

    I think Rory will continue to compete at practically all he enters, but I don’t see him doing a Tiger and dominating in the same way. I hope he can be the #1 player for the next few years, but nothing I think would be better for golf than Tiger coming back and there being a titanic (built in Northern Ireland, just like Rory) tussle between the two at the top of International Golf.

    On a slight tangent, I’ve also been really impressed with Jason Day over the past few months… sure he hasn’t won a major, but his consistency has been superb I believe.

    So, “Lets go Rory!”


    P.S. Chris – great writing, keep it up!

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