Posts Tagged ‘Rory McIlroy’

It’s Ryder Cup Week!

It is finally here! The Ryder Cup! By far one of my favorite events in all of sports. The bi-annual event between Team USA and Team Europe kicks off this Friday. The 39th edition of the Ryder Cup is at Medinah Country Club outside of Chicago. The US team is led by Captain Davis Love III and the European squad is captained by Jose Maria Olazabal. Both men are Ryder Cup veterans and have played against each other in the past. This is going to be good.

The PGA Tour just finished is season with the Tour Championship at East Lake C.C. In Atlanta. Seventeen of the players in the field of 30 are competing in the Ryder Cup. All 12 Americans were in the Tour Championship and 5 of the European Team members were as well. There is a truckload of talent between the two teams. All 12 of the Team USA members are ranked in the top 25 in the Official World Rankings. Team Europe has 7 players in the top 25. This is the most talent ever in the Ryder Cup.

So here are some questions. Will we see Rory vs Tiger? Who is DL3 going to pair together? Can the Europeans overcome what is expected to be a hostile US crowd? Can Team USA live up to the expectations and win?

First, I think we will see Rory vs Tiger on Friday. I think DL3 and Jose Maria will give the fans what they want to see. That is the only way to guarantee McIlroy and Woods play against each other. Sunday singles matches is near impossible to line them up. Unless both captains put them up in the first or last match on Sunday figuring the other will do the same. So I think we will get this matchup during the four-ball or foursome matches.

Pairings. Of course we all know that Captain Davis will go with the pairing of Woods/Stricker right of the bat. That is why Steve is on this team, to be paired with Tiger. This pairing has worked in the past. Keegan Bradley has said he wants to play with Phil Mickelson. I think it makes sense. Put a steady Eddie rookie with The Ryder Cup veteran “Phil the Thrill”. That would be a solid pair. Jason Dufner and Zach Johnson have also said they would like to play together. Both are calm and cool customers. I think that pair could be sneaky point hogs for Team USA. And what about FedEx Cup Champ Brandt Snedeker? Who does this Ryder Cup rookie play with? Furyk? Dustin Johnson? Capt. DL3 has so much talent on this roster that I am not sure if he can go wrong with whomever he runs out there.

Finally, I believe the crowd will be a HUGE factor. In this day and age of Twitter, Facebook and the Internet, fans on the grounds will know exactly what is going on all over the course and be able to react accordingly. This could prove to be an advantage for the Americans. The fans will instantly know match status and how hard to route on the US Team or worse…jeer and heckle the Europeans. That will be something Team Europe will have to deal with for sure.

My prediction: Captain Davis Love III brings the Cup back to stay on American soil.
Team USA wins 15 1/2 – 12 1/2.

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Greg Norman’s Comments Are Not Dead On, But They Are Close

“What I’m seeing is that Tiger’s really intimidated by Rory,” he says. “When have you ever seen him intimidated by another player? Never.

“But I think he knows his time’s up and that’s normal; these things tend to go in 15-year cycles.

“Jack took it from Arnold (Palmer). I took it from Jack, Tiger from me and now it looks like Rory’s taking it from Tiger.”

As you can see, Greg Norman was not shy by his opinions.   I am not convinced that Tiger is intimidated, but I do think that he sense the end is nearer than the beginning.

Greg stated that Jack Nicklaus passed the baton to him, then he passed it to Tiger.   Greg Norman was a wonderful Champion and he had his day in the sun though he may always be none for his collapses in Major Championships.   He has won Major Championships,  just not one on American Soil.    He also spent over 300 weeks as the number one player in the world.   That said, he was one of the greatest golfer’s of all time.    So his opinion is valid and one of experience.

Greg stated that when he started winning, he really did not acknowledge his place until he had beaten Jack one on one in match play at Wentworth.
He considered it his “crowned jewel”.

Rory has beaten Tiger the last couple of weeks, as he has won the last two Fed Ex Playoff Events.    Tiger was contending in each one, but was not able to find that gear that he was famous for having.    Tiger’s game will still yield him a win or two per season for a few more years, but even that will start to slow up.

Tiger is a competitor, and he would never admit that he was intimidated, though  he is more friendly with this rival as he has been with any of them.    Is that because Tiger is older and wiser?    Is it because of Tiger’s recent issues that has caused some self  induced humility?     Or is it because his skills are not what they used to be, and he knows that deep down?    I think it is all of the above.   He remembers what it is like to be in Rory’s shoes.  Instead of living it, he is watching it.

On the other hand, McIlroy understands where he is, and because he knows how to just roll with it and not let it get to big for him, he handles it with grace and class. Though Rory is only 23, so we may not see his best golf for a while.   Scary thought if you ask me.

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Will the Rio McIlroy be EIRE to the core or a Team GB Rory?

Whilst Rory McIlroy looks to have the FedEx Cup, Race to Dubai and money lists topped for this year as our learned colleague 5beachgolf surmises, not to mention finishing atop of the OWGR rankings come the end of the season another all-but certainty, there is one aspect of the Northern Irish fella’s game not so cut and dried.

Who will Rory play for at the 2016 Olympics in Brazil?

For those living beyond the boundaries of our septic isle, the decision may look as simple as signing on the dotted line. You’re born in Northern Ireland, so you play for the UK, or Team GBR as it indubitably will be. But the tightrope upon which you walk is a lot thinner than most when you’re talking affinity to one flag or another, despite anything that a peace process may or may not have announced to the world in the Good Friday agreement.

You only have to look back at last season’s Scottish Premier league campaign to get a sense of the depth of feeling that remains. Neil Lennon, having been born and having played for Northern Ireland, took over the reigns as manager of Celtic FC after a successful career as a player there. The fact that Celtic was borne of Irish Catholics looking for a community and presence in Glasgow at the end of the nineteenth century and it is only ever the green, white and orange tricolour you will see around Celtic Park even to this day, never the Saltire, only hammers home the allegiance the club and fans have with their Republican roots.

The protestant element went out of their way to emphasise just how much they thought of Lennon as a traitor, as he was attacked on the field at Tynecastle, had the walls of his home daubed with sectarian slogans, received death threats and even received a letter bomb through the post, as did two prominent Scottish figures associated with the club.

WP Rory McIlroy

Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Not that I’m suggesting this depth of feeling runs over into golf, but denying that it exists in sport at all is somewhat foolhardy.  What will his Irish fan base think if, having played for Ireland as a youth “under the Golfing Union of Ireland umbrella” as he recently referred to his career-to-date affinity, he then turns around and plays for Team GBR four years from now and not EIRE?

In a recent tweet, Rory has categorically stated that he has not made up his mind. Who can blame him? But he has fuelled the rumour mill by recently stating in the Daily Mail that he feels more British than Irish. Perhaps he is laying down the foundations for an announcement, possibly before this season’s out.

With the harmony of Europe coming together to defend the Ryder Cup in Medinah next month, there hardly seems a better time to publicly declare where his future loyalties lie, especially if Team Europe pull off the win that the bookies have U-turned on over the last six weeks and now fully expect against the backdrop of all recent major golf competitions have found champions from the east shore of The Atlantic.

Does Rory think with his head or his heart?

Along with the Irish golfing nation, the likes of Donald, Westwood, Rose and Poulter, at least one of whom would have to miss out in the event of Rory coming down on the side of Team GBR, must also be hoping he carries on sporting the green, white and orange. But to my mind, I think Brazil in 2016 will most definitely see a Team featuring a Great British Rory. Let’s hope the fans appreciate his decision, whichever way he goes, and just accept him for who he is now, the greatest golfer on the planet, irrespective of where he comes from.

Can anyone beat McIlroy???

Can anyone beat Rory McIlroy for the 2012 FedEx Cup and $10 million prize?? The list is short. Tiger, Phil and Dustin Johnson are the only ones that have a chance (in my opinion that is). They are the only 3 players that have been playing at a high enough level to try and keep up with Rory. He is playing so incredibly well right now that I am not sure that he can be caught.

The Tour Championship at East Lake C.C. Is next weekend outside Atlanta. The top 30 holders in FedEx Cup rankings are in the field. They all better hope that the week off will cool McIlroy down some to get everyone else a chance. There are some great names in the field next week. Lee Westwood, Brandt Snedeker, Louis Oosthuizen, and Bubba Watson are all within striking distance but I still believe only 3 guys have a shot at this thing.

Rory has played so well that he can finish as low as 29th at East Lake and still have a mathematical shot at winning the Cup! 29th!! That is next to last!! It is very likely that he will win this thing…..unless…..

Tiger wins next week then he is champion. Or if Phil wins then he is champ. Or if DJ wins and Rory finishes 3rd or worse. These 3 are the only people playing on the same level as McIlroy. In my opinion it will be one of these four men that will be walking away with $10 million in their pocket next week.

I know football season is in full swing now but man these FedEx Cup playoffs have been exciting!!!

Hello From Myrtle Beach!

My first blog post to Sports Monger On the Green…what should I write about?? On the heels of the PGA Championship I think the state of major golf tournaments is a great topic! With his record setting victory at The Ocean Course this week, Rory McIlroy broke a string of 16 consecutive majors with a new winner. That is a run that we have not seen in a long time thanks mostly to Tiger Woods.
The PGA Tour has a large pool of very talented golfers. More so now than at any other time in its history in my opinion. It seems like anyone in the field could win any week. There are consistently new names in the leader board each week. I love it! Watching these young aggressive golfers attack the golf courses each week is amazing. I am not surprised anymore when I turn on the TV and don’t see a “household” name on the first page of the leader board.
It is a very exciting time to be a golf fan!!!
I am glad to be joining Sports Monger on the Green at this time. We will have lots to talk about!!