McIlroy is interviewed by the media after winning the 94th PGA Championship at the Ocean Course of the Kiawah Island Golf Resort. (Joshua S. Kelly-US PRESSWIRE)

Stop the Comparisons! And There is No Rivalry!

A mere number of seconds after Rory McIlroy captured his second major, we were starting to hear the comparisons of Rors to Tiger. You may not have quite equated to such. I, for one, was a liitle miffed as I believe Jim Nantz of CBS Sports spoiled McIlroy’s moment by referring to his victory as “Tigeresque”.

This needs to stop and stop immediately. Let the young man enjoy himself a little…more.

Are the golf “gurus” really that hard up to find a “replacement” for Tiger? A rival for Woods? Honestly? None of this makes sense. For now, that is.

Ever since McIlroy burst onto the scene, he has been tagged as the “next one”. Fine, but do not compare everything he does to Woods. Do not assess his game the way everyone wants to assess Tiger’s game. Tiger is on his third evolution of his swing, that we know. It could be more. Is Rory? Not that we’ve heard…and I hope it stays that way because it’s one of the most beautiful swings to watch.

So you may have your way now as many will attempt to (unintentionally) pit McIlroy against Woods so that we have a “rivalry”, but will it endure? There’s nothing that would signify that it won’t eventually happen. But now is not that time. Woods has accomplished much while Rors is climbing that mountain Tiger has constructed.

We like when we see two individuals fighting for one goal. Nothing wrong with that one bit, but sometimes, the personalities of the two don’t quite match. This is such a case. It could change over the years, but for now, I think we see that McIlroy will still defer to Tiger out of respect. He proved that point (to some effect) yesterday in his press conference when asked about wearing a red shirt.

Yes, he and Oakley, who “dresses” the world’s new #1 player, already hatched a plan in case Rory was paired with Tiger for the final round. They agreed no red shirt would be donned. Even as McIlroy was lapping the field during the final round, McIlroy still has reverence to Woods. You cannot build a rivalry off that…yet. That, as well, could change over time, but it will take just that, time.

But the red shirt could be viewed as a statement…

What would make this “story” all the grander is if we see, not just hear, Tiger ingratiate McIlroy the way Jack Nicklaus did with Woods. Realistically, I do not foresee such. Why? I’m not sold that is part of Tiger’s DNA. Tiger thrives on the competition, and there is not a thing wrong with that. Tiger thrives on getting better. All athletes strive on competition and improvement. It a manner of how you accept another and go with it.

Plus, it’s not like Tiger is in the process of walking into the sunset. I do not see that for at least another ten years providing that surgically-repaired knee holds up. If it does, it’s “game on” for Woods. It should be. If you have seen my rants against Tiger, I fully recognize his importance to the game.

Would it hurt Tiger to do take that step and “approach” Rory? Depends. Some could view it as a weakness. Others, possibly a human side of Tiger that we are honestly not used to seeing.

I will say that since the “incident”, we have seen Tiger be a little more receptive of the press. Sure, he’s had his moments. That’s due to the constant microscope golf’s best known name is placed under. Tiger can get trite…but more times than not, it can be warranted especially when he is asked the same questions on almost a daily basis.

It has become tiresome when we want to compare players from different eras or even different decades. Just like all sports, things change. The game has changed, for better or worse, since Tiger splashed on the scene. Same for Rory. It was even the same when Jack hit the links as a pro. And we could go back and mention other names.

Equipment changes. Rules change, although some would state more needs to be done in this area. The approach to the game can change as well.

Let’s allow these guys to develop a “rivalry”, if one is to be developed. Comparing the two are, for lack of a better word, fruitless.

Tags: Golf PGA PGA Championship Rory McIlroy Tiger Woods

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