Tiger Woods had been an unstoppable force and beloved by all, and was poised to break Jack Nicklaus's record of 18 Major Championships. Tiger then went south due to his erroneous behavior, bad golf etiquette, and injuries. We needed another player to step up to the challenge and become the new face of golf.
Enter Rory McIlroy, a 22 year-old from Northern Ireland. He was playing on the one of the biggest stages of golf, The Masters. At the time he was just shy of his 22nd birthday and was playing brilliantly! Heading into the final round he shot a 65 69 and 70, which enabled him to have a four-shot lead and in complete control at the Masters. Unfortunately Rory got unraveled in the fourth round of the Master and shot an 80, seemingly self-destructing in front of our eyes. It was painful to watch because we were all rooting for the kid to break through and win his first major. He couldn't handle the pressure of having the lead on Sunday, the last day of the golf tournament.
Now fast-forward to June when the U.S. Open is played. Surely it would take more than a couple months to recover from such a horrible collapse, but McIlroy stormed out to a three- shot lead by scoring a 65. He kept his foot on the gas pedal and shot a 66 and 68 the next two rounds practically bogey free and going on a birdie frenzy! Only this time, instead of having a four-shot lead, he was blowing his competition out of the water and had an insane eight-shot lead over Y.E. Yang! Fourteen under is the best three round score ever at the U.S. Open.
The big question is this: could he hang on and win his first title? Everyone remembers what happened at The Masters. This time though the pressure didn't phase him, as he easily won his first major championship shooting two under par to shoot sixteen under for the tournament, coasting to an eight-stroke victory. Sorry Tiger, but there's a new sheriff in town!
Written by Mr. Cuse