Rory Takes Hit from Fox News
In a week filled with oddball golf news, including espionage among the LPGA caddie pool for covert photos of sensitive tour material, the defending champion of the PGA’s British Open has taken more than one hit this week. Rory McIlroy is not only the defending champion of the Open, owning the Claret Jug for the past year, but the tournament is to be held this year in the Mecca of golf courses, St. Andrews itself. Who knows when he’ll be there again?
Apparently, Rory was playing soccer with some of his pals and “ruptured” his ankle. I know what that feels like, from soccer, just stepping off a curb, and through several other dumb moves. Some people believe that if they put taboos on all the things they love to do, they’ll tighten up, and lose life quality – and perhaps they’re right. That’s the McIlroy school. On the other hand there is some wisdom to pre-tournament restraint, even if you are in your early twenties, and heal quickly.
No one is sure whether Rory will be at St. Andrews, but he will likely not be there near 100% if he comes at all. The last time a thing like this happened was 1954, when Ben Hogan was unable to return to defend his title.
Twenty years ago, we were hoping for a Tiger/Garcia rivalry, especially in the Open. After that, it was supposed to be Tiger/Phil.This week, it was supposed to be between McIlroy and Spieth, who has cleaned up on the year for majors. What if Tiger, the aging veteran (only partially tongue-in-cheek) has to take Spieth’s place.
Rory took a second hit from Fox News, that bastion of fair and balanced reporting, when Lisa Montgomery reported on his injury. Following the spot, she remarked, “I can’t stand him – he’s a leprechaun.” As she said later, she wanted to call him something much worse, for the perceived treatment Rory dealt to former girlfriend, Caroline Wozniacki. Fortunately, Fox News is not an Irish network, and is a joke to much of America anyway – but Rory, a leprechaun? Doesn’t Montgomery know anything about mythology?
At an approximate height of two feet at most, at least among the leprechauns I have known, what sort of swing velocity or arc is such a diminutive green man going to produce? Maybe they can chip and putt well, but Rory’s gift for distance has never been seen among the little people – wouldn’t they just love to have that? Further, leprechauns can’t drink on the course in sanctioned events, so that must be why we don’t see them on TV. I could go on, but you get the point.
I, and most of the other billions of people who live on this planet, don’t actually know the details of what went on between Rory and Caroline, and although I’m sorry that someone got hurt, few of us (two, probably) can profess any real wisdom on the exchange. I do wonder about the title they keep using for Rory, “greatest player on the planet,” as I really don’t see that demonstrated very often. I understand, though, that when he’s hot, he’s nearly unstoppable. Now, the question is, is he unstoppable with a bad ankle? This week, he’s on crutches, and doesn’t look like a guy who’s going to be there.
This could be Tiger’s big window to reenter the picture as king of the mountain. He just played the first bogey free round in eons, and is looking better and better, despite an occasional 83 every month or so. Whatever the prognosis for Rory and the Open, I’ll certainly be glued to Fox News to see how it unfolds – not.