NEW FACE ON THE GOLF COURSE

Rory McIroy has captured many of our imaginations looking for a new golfer to follow since Tiger’s fall.  Ken Kemp has a great story to share about Rory. – Steve


Just last April, Rory McIlroy teed off for his Sunday (fourth) round of the Masters and like today, the whole world was talking about him.  His textbook swing.  His Irish charm.  That four-leaf clover in his wallet.  He led the field by four strokes and all eyes were on him as he put his drive on the fairway more than three hundred yards out.

No birdies on that front nine; and just one bogie.  Not bad.  More than acceptable.  And at the turn, he still led the field, but only by one stroke.  He still had a reasonable shot at a Masters win.

But on the tenth hole, golf did to the twenty-two year old professional what golf does to most everyone who plays the game.  One hole it all it takes.  One tragic, unexpected, unwelcome meltdown.  A triple bogey.

Deflated, young Rory never recovered.  McIlroy opened the Masters with a stunning 65 first round following up with a 68 and then a third round 70.  His poise and consistency, power and precision, picture perfect swing and boyish magnetism earned him high praise and talk of “the next Tiger Woods.”  But he finished the round with an eight over par 80, dropping from a comfortable lead and predictions of greatness to a shocking fifteenth place.  It not only cost him the coveted Green Jacket, it cost him well over a million dollars in prize money (from $1.4 million to the winner to a paltry $128 thousand for 15th place).

The crowd’s attitude that day went from exhilaration to pity those last nine holes.  As Rory holed out at eighteen that Sunday afternoon, he forced a smile, acknowledging the crowd, but the pain inflicted by a little white ball that refused to find the cup was evident.  Relative unknown Charl Schwartzel took the Green Jacket and the prize money and the accolades.  Read more …

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