The Golf Blog: What Rory McIlroy’s US Open win will mean for golf–and Tiger Woods

mulligan, 19 June 2011, Comments Off on The Golf Blog: What Rory McIlroy’s US Open win will mean for golf–and Tiger Woods
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The Golf Blog says: With an 8-shot lead going into the final round of the 2011 U.S. Open, Rory McIlroy is set to make history. He has posted the best 36-hole and 54-hole scores in the history of the U.S. Open and has a chance to set the tourney record. No golfer has ever before hit -13 at a U.S. Open, but Rory has already hit -14.

Got to give credit to Rory McIlroy for rebounding so quickly from his final round 80-debacle at the Masters this April. While other golfers who came so close at the majors only to have a final round blowup have never recovered, Rory apparently was right when he said afterwards he wasn’t down about his missed opportunity. Rory just treated the Masters as a learning experience, but flushed the painful feelings of squandering a big lead out of his system.

For most young talent, it’s dangerous and foolish to make comparisons to the “next Tiger Woods” or “next Nicklaus.” But Rory deserves at least the beginning of those comparisons. Tiger won his first major at the Masters in 1997 at the age of 21. Jack won his first major at the 1962 U.S. Open at the age of 22. After Rory wins today, he will be officially tied with both Tiger and Jack in terms of pace to 18 majors.

After Rory gets his first major under his belt, others may start coming in bunches (ala Padraig Harrington and Phil Mickelson). At least we can expect McIlroy to a be a serious contender at the majors each year (as he already has been so far). And that may become the biggest obstacle to Tiger Woods’ quest to beat Jack’s record, as opposed to Tiger’s knee.

Tiger v. Jack chart — Click for larger image


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