I know there is not a Player Of The Planet award in professional golf, but if there were one, the 2012 trophy would go to Rory McIlroy. By finishing in third place at The Barclays Singapore Open, he has locked up the last piece of the puzzle. He will go to Dubai in two weeks with the Race To Dubai points lead, The European Tour Money lead, and the PGA Tour Money lead, oh by the way, he is also number one in the World Golf Rankings. At age 23, he picked up his second Major Championship, and the only thing he didn’t win this year was the FedEx Cup. Luke Donald finished at the top of the money list on both tours in 2011.
After watching him all season, I don’t think I’ve seen a more complete player for many years. He has no swing flaws, he has an excellent short game, and he putts well. What more could you ask for? Rory is not driven like we seen for a decade with Tiger Woods, and doesn’t seem to get lost trying to analyze every swing to the nth degree. I think this is the basis for a kid like Rory to find many years of success. The only flaw I see, is he tends to play too many tournaments in a row , and seems to get fatigued.
Since he now has a girlfriend, and is taking occasional time off, I see many more years at the top of this sport, for the youngster from Northern Ireland, without getting to the burn out stage.
I wrote a blog last week naming McIlroy as one of the candidates to win the PGA Tour Player Of The Year Award, but expect Rory to win that award over Tiger based on his success in the FedEx Cup Playoffs, and his PGA Title at Kiawah Island in September. He should take home the Vardon Trophy, and the Byron Nelson Award for his Stroke Average during the PGA season, ending up at almost five strokes lower than Woods.
He is currently third in stroke average on the European Tour, behind only Louis Oosthuizen, and Justin Rose. He is in second place for Greens In Regulation on the European tour, and is third place in sand saves. McIlroy is like a bottle of nice Bourbon. He has been developed, and now just needs to be aged for a while, and he will be ready to challenge Mr. Woods for supremacy of the golf world.
I have spent quite a bit of time watching the European Tour this year, and want to point out, that if you are a golf fan and not watching the Golf Channel coverage, you’re missing some great golf. The European Tour has a number of talented young players, a growing tradition, and some great tournaments. The Race To Dubai is as exciting as the FedEx Cup, and it keeps the top players involved for eleven months of the year. The association they have with Asian Tour commitment keeps the action going after the weather turns colder in Europe.
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