Whether Rory is considered Irish, Northern Irish or British, either way I’m proud to say that an Irishman is currently the best golfer on the planet! The same could be said about Padraig Harrington over the 13 months from July 2007 to August 2008 when he triumphed at Carnoustie, Royal Birkdale and Oakland Hills to claim 3 Major titles. Rors has the potential, and more importantly the time, to add to his Major haul over the coming years though and I am firmly of the belief that he will add many more to his current Championship wins.
McIlroy has of course been in impressive form of late, wins at The Open and last week at the WGC Bridgestone being the proof in the pudding here. He is consistently hitting drives 330-350 yards, and much further, that are seemingly all in the middle of the fairway. Tiger, Phil, Bubba and Dustin can hit it that far but not that straight! Rory’s putting stats are also improving too – holing the vast majority of putts he takes on from inside 10 feet, where he is sending most of his approach shots at present.
The question is, though, can the lad from Hollywood (Northern Ireland not California!) dominate golf like Jack Nicklaus did and Tiger Woods has done up to recently? There are definitely many players that will try to stand in his way – Adam Scott, Henrik Stenson, Martin Kaymer and Jordan Speith come to mind but to name a few. Only 2 of those mentioned have made their Major breakthrough however and that may prove to be the biggest stumbling block in their attempts to keep McIlroy off his current perch as World No.1.
Rory has show tremendous maturity of late, what youngster ditches his mobile phone during a golf tournament for example?? I’m not a youngster, or even an average golfer really, but my mobile phone is always in my golf bag! His change in focus to adapt his game for the week of The Open to allow him to compete, and win, the oldest Major was also a big sign of his growing into the world beater that he is becoming.
His performances to win at Wentworth in May during the BMW PGA Championship and at Firestone only last week to overturn Sergio’s lead to win the WGC Bridgestone was very impressive also and shows exactly what Rors is capable of. His most recent Major win at Valhalla in The PGA Championship showed his battling qualities and that he can very much dig deep when it really matters most. Can Rory McIlroy dominate golf? In a word, yes!