Sympatico: Can McIlroy surpass Woods?

My latest Sympatico column went online on Friday. It tries to cut through some of the hyperbole about Rory McIlroy following his win at the PGA Championship:

Being great is, apparently, never quite enough.

That’s appears to be how the discussion around Rory McIlroy’s win at the PGA Championship, his second major victory in two years, is being caged. Is the Irish lad with the curly hair, the big grin and the bigger swing better at 23 than Tiger Woods was at the same age? Some are debating whether McIlroy is golf’s next superstar. That is really hardly worth the breath it would take to argue the point. He’s a superstar. But will he be a legend? His win at the U.S. Open last year, followed by his win at the Ocean Course at Kiawah, showed McIlroy can blast a driver longer than practically anyone, hit exacting irons that rival the best, and is perhaps the top putter in the world. It is the combination of skills that made Woods a sensation while winning the Masters in 1997.

McIlroy recognizes the comparison is apt.

“I mean I’ve won my second major at the same age as he had,” McIlroy told reporters after his win. “But he went on that incredible run like 2000, 2001, 2002 and won so many.  You know, I’d love to sit up here and tell you that I’m going to do the same thing, but I just don’t know.”

The full column is here.

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Robert Thompson

A bestselling author and award-winning columnist, Robert Thompson has been writing about business and sports, and particularly golf, for almost two decades. His reporting and commentary on golf has appeared in Golf Magazine, the Globe and Mail, T&L Golf and many other media outlets. Currently Robert is a columnist with Global Golf Post, golf analyst for Global News and Shaw Communications, and Senior Writer to ScoreGolf. The Going for the Green blog was launched in 2004.

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  • The biggest difference between Rory and Tiger at the ripe old age of 23 is humility. Rory is a genuinely likable superstar on and off the course. Tiger was a jerk at 23, is a bigger jerk at 36, and will more than likely continue to be a jerk for the foreseeable future. Here’s hoping Rory continues on the road to golf immortality – a true role model for future generations to come.

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