The McIlroy Pride
~ Amy Lignor
Yes…the tiger, per animal facts anyway, is supposedly more aggressive and meaner than the old lion. The ‘big man’ is always shown sitting in the sun, yawning – or giving that roar that startles creatures before he sends his wife off to catch dinner because, quite frankly, she’s better at it. But when it comes to golf, it is the lion – the ROAR of Rory – that is being heard, as he kicks the proverbial tiger’s hindend at the British Open. Of course, it’s not only Tiger Woods he’s burying like an undertaker who has a severe passion for his work – he’s burying everyone else right alongside him.
Now, there ARE those moments in the sports world where the red, white and blue comes forth and the ‘Rocky’ music is cued. There are times when a football team is done. It’s over. The Super Bowl has gone to someone else…and then…the ball is thrown just right, or the punt return is pure perfection, and there is another team holding the Lombardi trophy in the air.
Rory Mcllroy knows this. Just like Tiger Woods, he has seen leads vanish in an instant. However, at the time of this report, Rory pretty much has the British Open victory in the palm of his hands. He’s keeping the roar at bay just a tad bit longer, as fans of Tiger are standing in silence, or leaving completely, considering Tiger is done for the day and has left already.
But everyone saw the future yesterday when Rory came to the final hole and made those two perfect swings. On the 18th fairway, Rory and the crowd looked at the ball as it rolled its way towards the cup and halted just a mere ten feet from the flag. It was just five holes earlier that he had been tied for the lead. The largest 54-hole margin ever made at the British Open was made by one, Tiger Woods, fourteen years ago. And the roaring lion made sure to put his name with Tiger’s on yet another list by walking off the course on Saturday with a 4-under 68/a six-shot lead.
He did offer up a bit of a swagger to the crowd, or perhaps he was just swaggering to Tiger, making sure the Jedi Master was aware that the new Knight fighting the good fight had done more than good. But the smart side of Rory stated that he wasn’t taking anything for granted. Perhaps the inner voice was already jumping up and down, tasting that career Grand Slam that would put him with Nicklaus and Woods as the only players to win three majors all before reaching maturity. (And, yes, for men that’s 25).
Woods really isn’t a threat to anyone, of course, and he proved it. He continues to state that his recovery from back surgery is going well. In other words Rory: If I was up to par, you wouldn’t have a chance to swagger. There are players who do have a shot (if they have Harry Potter’s wand and/or an angel on their shoulders: Rickie Fowler, Sergio Garcia and Dustin Johnson. But, again, it doesn’t look plausible.
But there was other news about Tiger to share; he spoke about the U.S. Ryder Cup team and how there is no doubt he should be chosen for it. Even with some poor (okay, bad) showings of late, he believes that the Cup captain, Tom Watson, should make sure that he is chosen as one of the best 12 Americans to win back the coveted cup. He was a pick in 2010…but for 2014, it certainly looks sketchy.
The most fun news of the British Open, however, may turn out to be a big payoff for yet another Mcllroy. His father may jump up and down and share the swagger time with his son, when he earns six-figures off a decade-old bet that Dad and friends placed; a bet that said his son would most definitely win the Claret Jug by the time he was 26-years-old. Talk about under the wire. If twenty-five-year-old Rory hangs on…there will be a whole lot of money given to the Mcllroy Pride!