It appears that Rory McIlroy is coming out of his year-long slump, and is starting to look like the Rory we saw in 2012, stalking the fairways again with a chance to win. The 24 year-old from Northern Ireland finished tied for sixth place at The WGC-HSBC Champions Golf Tournament on Sunday, and most importantly, played well for three of the four rounds at the Sheshan International Golf Course.
With the nice finish in China, Rory moves up to 38th position in the Race To Dubai. He was in 62nd position at the start of the week, and two spots out of the playoff picture. It wasn’t clear if he would play next week at the Turkish Airlines Open, which is the last chance to qualify for the DP World Tour Championships, Dubai the following week. He won both the tournament, and the Race To Dubai in 2012.
Rory looks to have his game back on-track! He is once again, bombing his driver with some confidence. He maintained a 37.5% average through the week in Shanghai with his best day being Friday when he hit almost 43% of his fairways. It was his poorest round because he made some mistakes around the greens and carded an even par round.
Other that the mistakes he made on Friday, Rory’s short game is always strong. What’s keeping him out of the winners circle at this point is his putter. He’s not putting poorly, he just hasn’t found any consistency yet. He’s close, and when they start to drop, you are going to find him holding up more trophies at the end of tournaments.
His best day on the greens was Thursday when he was averaging 1.5 putts per green. That number ballooned up 1.9 in the final round, and his four-day average was just over 1.7.
There is speculation throughout golf that Rory has broken it off with girl-friend, tennis star Caroline Wozniacki. He has denied those rumors, but he seems to have re-dedicated himself to his golf game, and it showing up on his score cards.
Rory McIlroy is important to golf, and I am looking forward to him being competitive next year. I prayed all last season for the dream Rory/Tiger match-up in a big tournament. Maybe 2014 will be the magical year I’ve been waiting for. I can’t wait!
You can follow Les on Twitter @Spin_47 and in the Golf Community