I was willing Rory to win as I watched the final round unfold on TV, it was closer than many people thought, but he won!
Rory’s majestic play the first few days were exceptional, a golfer in peak form fulfilling the potential we knew he had, making the game look so easy.
That final round was so different to the first three days, he made a brilliant start, birdieing the first hole with a monumental drive nearly 300yds into the breeze, superb iron shot and a great putt.
He we go he is going to win by seven or eight shots surely?
But having a six shot lead and the expectation of the crowd, the press, and himself it proved a hard task to play cavalier golf.
The chasing pack had nothing to lose, they could just go for it and attack, and they did so many scores of sixty five, sixty six were coming in.
Sergio Garcia played fantastic golf and proved that he has got back his love for the game and is strong ready to compete at this rarified level of the Majors.
Ricky Fowler played so good all week and his now showing his huge potential we knew he had but was sometimes too inconsistent.
He has been working on some swing changes with Butch Harmon and they are working.
Fowler, Garcia, Mcilroy are birdie machines, they do not hold back, they attack when they can, go for par fives, they are aggressive .
Sometimes that approach has got them into trouble, but when it comes off and the course is set up in a fair way, it is so exciting to watch, and so it proved at Hoylake this year.
So what about Tiger Woods, well I think if you haven’t played for five months and had back surgery and come back and made the cut in the Open with hardly any tournament play, I believe that is a very good performance.
Tiger has always set new levels of achievement and people were divided between either he will come back as before or he had no chance, we know what happened.
The golf world must give Tiger time to get back into his routine and get his preparation right and we should really only judge him in a few months time.
I cannot see Tiger winning another major again.
He was the best golfer I have ever seen, he had it all, great mental strength, power, finesse, putting genius, amazing will to win, course management, and at his peak he had control of his competitors, they could hardly ever beat him, even when he was hitting all over the course he found a way to win. He intimidated his competitors.
Not any more, the invincibility has gone, the young guns have no fear, they haven’t tasted defeat, they love taking on the challenge of a older, fatigued, injured former god of golf and enhancing their reputation.
Tiger absolutely hates it and I am sure he is going to give it one more big go at getting his game back and showing that he can come back one more time, now he is feeling healthy.
He must sort out the driver though!
So who had the amazing power drives this week, the short game touch, the mental strength, made the birdies and saved the pars, had a game plan and strategy and really believed it was his time?
Yep it was Rory this week , he put it all together, we have had flashes of brilliance this year, but then he had a really bad round, which for a player with that talent is really surprising.
This is what I said five years ago about Rory.
“If Rory can continue to stay healthy, learn how to keep his score going when not quite at his best and eliminate small errors of judgement on course, such as course management and shot selection, there will be no stopping this young man becoming a regular tour winner where ever he plays in the world and become the best european player since Seve and Nick”
He is well on his way with three majors at twenty five, Faldo won his first Open when he was thirty and had four majors at thirty three, three of them the Masters, a total of six majors in his career, so Rory has about another eight years at least, which is another thirty two attempts to win at least three more to surpass Nick!
I believe he will win more majors, but cannot see anybody getting near Tiger Woods at fourteen majors and Jack Nicklaus at eighteen majors.
David Bown PGA AA Golf Professional
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