Rory Is not the New Tiger – Yet…

Congratulations to Rory McIlroy for winning the 111th U.S. Open yesterday in Washington, D.C.

Not only did the kid win in a landslide (by eight strokes), he also did so in historic fashion.  His 16-under par score was the most ever in the U.S. Open.

That was what was so amazing about McIlroy.  U.S. Opens are supposed to be extremely difficult, challenging and humbling, yet this kid made the course look like a Putt-Putt.

Having said that, let’s not crown this kid too soon.  Sure this kid was one meltdown at the Masters away from having two majors this year.  Sure this kid is also humble and loose on the course, a stark, welcoming contrast from Tiger Woods.

But there is only one Tiger.  Tiger was not only a winning machine, he turned a lot of people into casual golf fans at the very least .

Look, I am not a fan of Eldrick “Tiger” Woods.  But I’ll be honest, I didn’t give two damns about golf until Tiger won the Masters in 1997 by 1,000 strokes.  I loved the way he intimidated the hell out of the other golfers.  It seemed to be always Tiger vs. the field in every major tournament, if there is one thing I love in sports, is dominance.  It also didn’t hurt that he is not only an American, but an American of COLOR.  Let’s be honest, we were all accustomed to older white dudes (American or European) winning title after title.

While McIlroy is a special player who will win more future major tournaments, he has not captured the fascination of the average golf fan.  We are not going to be “McIlroy-ized” the same way we were “Tiger-ized” (terms courtesy of ESPN’s Mike Greenberg).  It hurts McIlroy that he is a European player, and last I checked Americans do not give a damn about Europeans in any sport.

The only thing that will change that perception of McIlroy is if he wins more – as in at least five to six more – majors.  Otherwise, he will become no better than the next Phil Mickleson.

Categories: golf, sports story

4 replies

  1. Good post. I think no matter how well Rory McIlroy plays he can never be the same as Tiger Woods. I think a superstar is not only defined by his play but also his personality. It’s the same reason why Lebron James can never be Michael Jordan. Tiger Woods had this sparkle that no one else had. He brought the type of emotion to the game of golf that had never been seen before. He was a guy who let his emotions loose but didn’t affect his play. He may have been a robot in interviews but he was far from it when he played the game. Don’t get me wrong, I like McIlroy as a person, but he just doesn’t have that same star quality that Tiger Woods has and never will. How many majors he wins is anyone’s guess but there is no way he can ever be Tiger Woods. At least in my mind. Also, you think you could check out my blog cuz I’d love to hear what you have to say

  2. Love your take on Rory dude. Love the blog too!

  3. Scott, liked your post. I agree only people played golf cared about it, but because of Tiger we all became intrigued and at least watched on Sundays the final holes if Tiger was in the mix. But with everything that has happened around Tiger, I believe it is great for golf to have somebody like McIlroy win, its like a breathe of fresh air. He did show he didn’t let his meltdown keep him down, he came out swinging, literally:) His personality truly isn’t like Tiger’s so he won’t get all the hype Tiger got and gets, but hey maybe golf needs this kind of kid to do well and get the focus back on gold and not the drama of Tiger on and off the course.

    • Dude,

      I would LOVE to see Woods and McIlroy hook up on a Saturday and Sunday of a major tournament. Now THAT would be must-see TV.

      Somehow, somewhere Tiger must be praying (to Buddha) for the opportunity…

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