Rory McIlory Returns to Form
The modern PGA , with all its talent and varied personalities, is an industry like no other, but without Rory McIlroy, it’s not quite the party that it should be. Well, it’s time to get the party started, because the life of it is back!
I was patient – I never worried, not for a moment. What, did we think that someone like McIlroy would never return? Did we honestly think that a talent such as his was intended to be a flash-in-the-pan? It’s true, he’s a little Ferarri-ish – either runs perfectly or not at all, but we need all types, and the Ford/Chevy players tend to be far more plentiful.
Adam Scott, who’s been on a holy tear, wishes that McIlroy would have waited for another time to re-ignite. He was on the verge of completing the “Aussie Slam” (not to be found at Denny’s, Shari’s or I-Hop) – The Australian Masters, the Open and the PGA titles. It looked as though it was a foregone conclusion until Rory started putting like a pro again. Scott blazed through the first round with a 62, and looked like he had everyone far in the rear view mirror. McIlroy came from four back and rolled in a big one on 18, though, walking away with a birdie and the tournament. It’s his first win in over a year.
McIlroy reminds us of how adept he is at sudden scoring, when everything shifts perfectly into place without advance warning. Slow as he was to come back, he took his time getting here on tour as well, despite a stellar amateur career. By the advent of 2009, he was just getting around to breaking into the top fifty. Of course, by the end of the year, he was a top ten.
The 24 year-old star has been second-guessed by a lot of people who don’t get his personality, and obviously haven’t spent much time in Ireland. I spend every second there that I can, whenever possible. North/South, doesn’t matter. It’s an incredible human social phenomenon and a magical piece of real estate. Personally, I believe that if you dislike or just don’t “get” Rory McIlroy, you’re probably not much fun.
Sure, he did a little foot-shooting along the way – we all do, but not so often on international TV. He once called the Ryder Cup an “exhibition,” and that he would prefer to spend time winning tournaments for himself. It sounded a little self-absorbed, perhaps, but I think I know what he was trying to say. He skipped a Players Championship when no one else did, and complained about playing in wind and rain after a bad U.S. Open round. An Irishman who blames wind and rain for bad golf? All you who have been there know exactly what I’m talking about.
We blamed him for being in love at one point, but I’ve since met many people who continued to excel at their craft after falling in love. Maybe some excess travel impeded low scores, and maybe some divided thinking, but we all do that and still don’t walk into a bus. We blamed him for going with Nike, as if Phil Knight was going to hand him a clump of caveman sticks for his next trip to the course. Enough of that – Nike is pretty good at what it does, and pretty good at fixing it when it isn’t.
The simple fact is that McIlroy, who has won two-majors but putted himself out of two others, can putt again, at least in Australia. Give me a talent like McIlroy who’s putting well, and I don’t think he’s going anywhere again. He should keep his clubs, keep his girlfriend, keep his wonderful Irish personality, and keep telling critics to go jump in the lake. So long as he continues to play like he did in Australia, he’ll be the life of the party.