Rory McIlroy. “Open Champion” 2014
Congratulations to Rory McIlroy on becoming the winner at the 143rd playing of “The British Open Championship”. Played this last weekend over the historic Liverpool Golf Club, Merseyside, England.
Now Rory has three of Golf’s Major Championship to his credit;
- The U.S. Open Championship of 2011
- The PGA Championship of 2011, and now
- The Open Championship, 2014
All that remains is the Masters at Augusta. With a win in that Major Tournament he will join the select few who have achieved “Golf’s Lifetime Grand Slam”. They are;
- Gene Sarazen
- Ben Hogan
- Jack Nicklaus
- Gary Player
- Tiger Woods
Although in previous starts at “The Masters” Rory’s best finish has only been a tie for 8th, he must go into next year’s event as at least one of the top favorites. Augusta sets up as a course that favors golfers who like to move the ball right to left that’s the way Rory favors, although he knows how to play all the other shots. The height he can launch the ball off any club he hits also can be an advantage at Augusta. To me it’s a perfect venue for his game.
My bet is that he will one day wear a “Master’s Green Jacket”. It might not be in 2015 but it surely will happen. Talking about bets, back in 2004 when Rory was only 14, his father and three friends placed a bet with a British book-maker. The bet was that Rory would win “The Open Championship” before he reached the age of 26. The money placed was £400, about US$683. The odds were set at 500 to 1. Rory’s win at age 25 has given this dad and friends a nice return of about US$342,000.
Rory was the leader all throughout the “Open Championship” with scores of 66-66-68 and a final hang-in-there final round of 71. A total 17 under par 271. A 2 shot win over both Rickey Fowler (U.S.A), and Sergio Garcia (Spain). Rory’s take-to-the-bank check was £975,000 or about US$1,318,440. But I’m sure, more importantly to him was the fulfillment of a life-long dream.
Just a little about Tiger. After serious back surgery and a long time away from tournament golf, perhaps he came back into “The Open” a little too early to do anything but struggle and frustrate himself. But he showed up for the fan-base that always wants/hopes to see his magic on the course. Rounds of 69-77-73-75 for a total 294 put him in 69th place just 4 places from the bottom of the leader board. Back in 2006 when he won the “Open Championship” on same Liverpool Course his score was at 16 under-par, 22 shots less than this year.
I’m sure that with his determination we’ll see at least some of his brilliance in the future. A lot of people sure hope so. Wish he would just go back to his original swing (the one that worked so well), it won him the fear and respect of all the other professionals, not to mention more money than you would even think an athlete could earn in ten lifetimes. The immediate question that has to be answered very soon by Tom Watson, this year’s Ryder Cup captain is, (because Tiger is not ranked high enough to automatically be a Ryder Cup team member), will Tiger be a “Captain’s Choice”? Go U.S.A.