Rory Mcllroy celebrates his PGA Tour Championship victory
Golf has been waiting on a star to emerge, Tiger Woods will likely never be the same golfer that he was especially since re injuring his back . As a matter of fact, the likelihood of him winning another major is becoming slimmer and slimmer and may be fading away. People thought Phil Mickelson would take advantage and make up for the majors that he finished just behind a dominant Tiger Woods performance and add to his own legacy. Bubba Watson was thought to be the next big thing after winning the Masters a few years ago. Then Adam Scott took charge after impressing in a few majors and winning the 2013 Masters. Instead, Rory McIlroy has taken the spotlight from them all.
In 2011, Rory Mcllroy entered the final round of the Masters with a four shot lead. He looked dominant, in control, and on his way to his first major. It all imploded in Rory’s face on that Sunday at Augusta and he put an 80(+8) on the scorecard and lost his first real shot at winning a major. The following major at the U.S. Open, Rory ran away from the field, learned from his performance at Augusta, and won the event by 8 strokes. His next major came in 2012 at the PGA Championship where he blew the field away again and won his second major.
The problem with Rory was he couldn’t string together consecutive events and win multiple contest at a time. In late 2014, Rory changed the narrative. In the British Open Rory again won the event wire-to-wire and never really had much of a doubt despite late charges from Sergio Garcia and Rickie Fowler. He then won the WGC at Bridgestone in his next event and then the PGA Championship. But the PGA Championship was different this year. It was riveting television. Rory went into the day with a lead, but struggled early. He fell to fourth behind charges from Phil, Henrik Stenson, and Rickie Fowler. He was two shots behind and Phil had his typical Sunday magic. Rickie Fowler had finished in the top 5 in each of the 3 previous majors and seemed ready to take his first major. Henrik Stenson was the quiet assassin Sunday who just kept hitting good shots and making putts. This was what we wanted to see from Rory. Would he fold without his big lead? He stood on the seventh tee down three shots to Henrik Stenson and Rickie Fowler. He answered that with an eagle on the 10th hole and stormed back to the front of the pack. Rickie, Henrik, and Phil all struggled to make birdies on the back nine. With the eagle and two birdies, Rory stamped his fourth major title in style with a 32(-4) on the back nine.
This was Rory’s most impressive major because of the way it unfolded. With the old dog Phil, the young guns in Henrik Stenson and Rickie Fowler looking for their first major and don’t forget the darkness growing as the round went on due to the rain early in the day on Sunday pushing all the tee times back it was must see TV. Rory was cool, calm, and collected through it all and now is golf’s number one player. He will never reach Tiger’s level of popularity. Some people we gravitate too. Baseball has Jeter, Football has Manning, and basketball has LeBron. Golf already has somebody and his name is Tiger. But Tiger’s days seem numbered right now and Rory is taking full advantage.