Rory McIlroy is golf's new superstar
If you did not watch the golf tournament in Dubai, you missed one helluva coming out party. Nineteen year old Rory McIlroy took the measure of a very strong European Tour field and fulfilled enormous expectations by bringing home the chalice last Sunday. Left in his wake was nearly the entire Ryder Cup team that played in Valhalla, save Padraig Harrington and Ian Poulter.
McIlroy showed amazing poise for a teenager. After opening with birdies on the first three holes of his final round, he hit a rough patch where he gave back all three of those shots by the eighth hole. Immediately he righted the ship and made five straight birdies to have a stranglehold on the tournament. Almost. Three straight bogies ensued, starting with number 15, including a camera-click-at-the-top-of-the-backswing special (which he didn’t even mention in his post round interview) on the 17th. And how interesting was it that McIlroy had a 4 foot knee-knocker to win on the final hole. He missed a similar putt last fall in Switzerland to complete a blown 4 shot lead. Not this time. The talent is undeniable and he appears to be learning the lessons of winning at a rapid pace not seen in Europe since Seve Ballesteros came on the scene.
I had the great fortune of catching that broadcast live. The European Golf Channel announcers proved once again how much better they are than the US crew. When McIlroy sank the final putt, the call was “A star is confirmed.” Perfect.
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Funny, but I don't remember Clampett or Hallberg winning pro events against a world class field at 19 years old.
Rory didn't throw a tantrum at the camera click (unlike ?) and made a steely final putt to win against a great field, all as Shanks has said. I think it's far too early to say whether he'll be a superstar, and feel he may struggle in learning the ropes on the US tour for a while, but there's no doubting this 19-yr. old has talent and guts aplenty.
Could do with a haircut, perhaps?
Way to go Rory!
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