Interesting take on Rory vs. Tiger

In case you missed this weekend (and I couldn’t blame you if you did considering the wonderful golf weather), John Paul Newport from the Wall Street Journal had a good “Golf Journal” column on Rory and Tiger.

If you have read this blog for any period of time, you know that I’ve been pretty transparent on my lack of love for Tiger. I have enjoyed watching Rory play for some time now and I find the fact that he smiles and isn’t golf’s version of The Terminator very refreshing.

Newport clearly has made some similar observations

A few key passages from the column:

“McIlroy, with his curly locks and seemingly boundless good cheer, is a bit doglike himself. He hits his shots quickly, then bounds off eagerly to fetch his ball, never complaining, no matter where it lands. “Best day ever!” you can imagine him thinking. It’s enough to make you want to scratch his belly.”

Followed by this:

“Last month McIlroy won his second major, the PGA Championship, at a slightly younger age than Woods won his second major. He followed that eight-stroke runaway win with back-to-back victories the last two weeks against elite fields in FedEx Cup Playoffs events, posting 20-under-par totals each time. Cumulatively in these three wins, he is 53 under par. That’s Tiger territory, but without the angst. … I never felt like scratching Woods’s belly when he was in his prime. I felt awe, respect and admiration. Had I been a competitor, I would have felt intimidation. But I never experienced the warm-and-fuzzies.”

And the competitive reality:

“At 36, Woods, is playing better than he has in at least three years. He ranks No. 2 in the world, behind McIlroy, and is second in FedEx Cup points behind McIlroy entering next week’s Tour Championship. But he also has scar tissue that McIlroy doesn’t have, both in his left knee and in his head. He isn’t holing the critical, tournament-defining, 8- to 12-foot putts that he always seemed to make in his prime. And he’s incorporating his third swing overhaul in 15 years. “You put all of those together and it’s enough to rob Tiger Woods of those intangible things that made him as good or better than Rory is now,” Golf Channel commentator Brandel Chamblee said in a conference call this week.

For the first time, really, since Woods turned pro, his best isn’t good enough.

That about sums it up.


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