And much like the runaway win at the 1997 Masters kicked-off the Tiger era, this year’s U.S. Open could vault Mcilroy into golf super stardom.
Winning a major, defines a golf career. Winning like Rory Mcilroy did this week at Congressional defines an era.
The youngest to win a U.S. Open in 88 years won with the lowest total, ever! 268 shots. Four fewer than Tiger Woods in 2000, or Jack Nicklaus in 1980.
His play was so perfect that the rest of the field basically conceded to him before the final round began. And remember: This is the guy who shot an 80 in the final round of the Masters and passed on the green jacket.
For months, sports writers have been looking for the heir apparent to Tiger Woods. Look no further. Rory’s it.
That his runaway victory comes on the heels of a Masters disaster is not insignificant. Mcilroy has taken the kind of setback that so often defines a career, and used it to get better.
And don’t bother passing this off as just a good week either. Mcilroy led wire to wire at the U.S. Open. He also led for three days at the Masters. And in case you missed it, he finished tied for 3rd at the PGA Championship, and British Open last year too! That’s a run in the majors, bettered only once in the last several decades, by the man in the red.
His official world ranking as of Monday morning is 4th. But make no mistake about it. Right now, Rory Mcilroy is the best golfer on the planet. And he’s only 22.
So get ready for the reign of Rory.
I’m not saying Rory is about to embark on a decade like Tiger’s, and win 14 majors in 11 years.
If we’ve learned anything from Tiger the last two years, it’s that there are no givens.
But Rory Mcilroy has shown over the past 12 months that he’s got the game to be the next really big thing in golf.And the maturity to handle the distractions that come with it.