So I am hearing the golf world has a new face in which is going to take us into a new era of dominance.
Albeit it’s a baby-faced, freckle filled, still-doesn’t-need-to-shave face on the 22 year old Northern Islander phenomenon Rory McIlroy.
Well I’ll give a polite golf clap for the kid.
He did just leave the US Open field in ruins after his record-setting 16 under at Congressional Country Club and finished eight strokes over the next closest opponent. He sent tremors through the rest of the field, media, and entire golf world with his first ever major title.
However, I am not here to acknowledge the performance but warn all that this kid is not the new bully on the block in golf.
Not even close.
Does anyone remember a guy they called Tiger? You know, the 14-time major winner, the most recognized and powerful athlete around the world?
Woods reigned with a cold and ruthless arrogance. The kind that said, “I’m here, you are all lucky to be in my presence, now hand over that trophy and I’ll be on my way”.
Recently, his armor was pierced though. Undoubtedly, everyone has seen his star fade away with adultery, injuries, and inability to pick the pieces back up of his life.
Tiger now seems to have the idea right. He needs an extended hiatus away from the game to rest his Achilles and knee. The strain upon both has caused him to not be able to practice the way he is used to which has translated to disappointment on the course and more talk about how he is done.
However, Tiger’s throne atop the golf world now has a legitimate contender in McIlroy.
I’m here to say this is just what Tiger will need to find his resurgence.
Somebody to push him to get healthy. Somebody to get him back out on the driving range and putting green to get his stroke back. Somebody to push him late in tournaments.
The similarities and differences between the two are very intriguing as well.
McIlroy is similar to a young Tiger. Both burst onto the scene with a resounding major victory to let their name be known. Both had the sweet swing that the rest of the golf world salivated over. Both were too young to really understand just how good they really were.
However, Woods was one who towered over the rest of the field and instilled fear over his opponents when he entered tournaments.
McIlroy can still be mistaken by many golfers as a kid looking for their autographs at first glance and is just to frail still.
I will admit that it is nice to see a golfer who is humble and has the game to go along with it. However, Tiger didn’t get to 14 major wins with a smile. He used his robot-like emotions and unwavering dedication to win tournament after tournament and leave us shaking our heads in amazement.
McIlroy may need Tiger just as bad as Tiger needs McIlroy in this case.
The youngster needs another to challenge him on and off the course to harden his skin and make him better in the clutch.
And can you imagine the golf revolution that could take place if these two were to battle it out weekend after weekend? Not one superstar to rule them all but two equals to keep us on the edge of our couches and keep us in suspense.
Long story short: Tiger, get healthy and come reclaim your throne. Rory, keep winning and fuel Tiger’s fire and go try and take that throne. It has always been, and always will be, your destiny.