Lee and McIlroy Open For Business
In recent weeks we’ve seen the coronation of two tremendous teenaged golfers in the world golfing realm. No, we are not discussing Michelle Wie, who came fairly close to an inaugural professional win. Instead, we recognize Ireland’s Rory McIlroy, champion of the Dubai Classic and Danny Lee of New Zealand (by way of South Korea), winner of this week’s Johnnie Walker Classic in Australia.
Of the two, Lee impresses me more. He charged to victory with a final-round 67, including a par-saving putt on 16 after rinsing a ball in the local lavadora. In contrast, McIlroy had a six-stroke lead with six to play in the desert and barely hung on to win. Had Rory’s challenger been any other than Justin “Nope, still don’t know how to win” Rose, the fifteen-footer might have fallen on the final green, McIlroy might have gone to a playoff or lost in regulation, and we would simple be discussing Lee.
Lee is a bit edgy, no doubt. He gets into trouble in airports and has already announced he will depart the amateur ranks after The Masters. However, he has one US Amateur notch on his belt (2008) and truly deserves to play The Masters as a professional. However, given this win at the JWC, I sense that he might challenge at Augusta if he figures the place out. Having an amateur give chase at The National would certainly arouse interest in the game.
So here’s to McIlroy and Lee, Lee and McIlroy. Tiger is 33, married and bionic. It is high time that the world of golf find someone(s) with the charisma to succeed the current King of the game. Dustin Johnson and Anthony Kim notwithstanding, it’s never a bad thing to have more candidates from which to choose.
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Rory McIlroy - ranked 16th in the world and deserves it.
Ryo Ishikawa - ranked 67th in the world
Danny Lee - Won the pro Johnney Walker Classic today and current U.S. amateur champ. Still amateur.
Rickie Fowler - ranked 2nd in the world behind Lee for amateurs.
Have there ever been 4 teens this good ?
I'm still laughing at you...because you suck. You really are the Village Idiot.
For starters, I feel both these kids have got the kind of game required to tame the many championship courses around the world. So, I wouldn’t really consider their shot-making ability as the most important criteria to determine if they can break into the higher echelons of the sport. What will determine their future from this point on is quite simply their mental fortitude. In that respect we cannot say Lee is much better than McIlroy simply because he shot a stunning 67 on the final day. A quality round but the fact remains that it was a come-from-behind win. It is very credible but when you are not in the final group, you really don’t have all the spotlight on you so you can go out there and play carefree golf and in the process do what it takes to down such a championship.
The real test for him would be how he handles the pressure when he goes into the final day, in a position to clinch the title. To be honest, I feel both kids are equally good and along with them a few others who a very promising future ahead of them and one must keep a close watch on them.
As well written as I've read lately, so congratulations. Well-defended points, especially the one about being able to win from the front of the pack. Truly the mark of a champion. I look forward to the growth of all the young players, as I'm certain you do as well.