NOW THAT IT’S ST. PATRICK’S DAY, it’s the perfect time to write about Ireland’s new golfing sensation, Rory McIlroy. While others have been knocking out a shag bag full of stories about the precocious golf star, I’ve been waiting for March 17. It’s an Irish theme. I like themes.
OK, truth time. I’m late to jump on the Rory bandwagon. Instead of jumping on the bandwagon, let’s call it a St. Paddy’s Day Parade. I’ll join in.
My intern, Dobby, has been on me about Rory. “Sheesh, everyone is talking about Rory. You better get with it.”
Actually, I don’t have an intern. Dobby is my young kitty cat. But he looks at me with those penetrating little eyes and I get a Rory vibe. It’s either that, or he wants me to fill his food dish with Meow Mix.
I finally decided I had to write about Rory if, for no other reason, as a sort of sacrifice to the golf media gods. Everywhere I turned last week it was Rory, Rory, Rory.
And I do mean everywhere. On Twitter, his driver yardages were being tweeted from the range at Doral. One blogger buddy wrote a Rory piece and then a Rory piece with a similar angle popped up the next day on a major sports site.
The final straw was when Tiger Woods was asked about Rory. There’s nothing that breathes life into the golf media like an utterance from Tiger. And so, of course, the story had a second life.
Tiger was asked if Rory McIlroy could someday claim the top spot in golf.
“There’s no doubt,” Tiger said. “The guy’s a talent. Hopefully while I’m not around or while I’m around. Certainly he has the talent. We can all see it.”
That statement caused a tizzy on Rory’s side of the pond and resulted in what will surely go down as one of my favorite golf headlines of the year (and it’s only March) by The Telegraph:
Tiger Woods raves about Rory McIlroy as Phil Mickelson wins
After reading that, Dobby and I laughed like we had guzzled one too many green beers. (Or maybe Dobby had a hairball.)
Being the astute golf observer I am (and, um, after reading what others have already said, including Tiger), I’ve come to two iron-clad conclusions about Rory. Are you ready?
He’s young. He’s talented.
That’s my stand. I’m on the record. Finally.
Rory Bumps Into Jack Nicklaus at Mall
Rory has a Web site and blog and recently wrote about a chance encounter with Jack Nicklaus. No kidding.
“We then flew to West Palm Beach and on the Sunday me and Dad didn't have anything to do so we went to the mall,” Rory wrote, “and believe it or not walking to his car in the parking lot was Jack Nicklaus.”
(The golf gods, indeed, must be smiling on this Irish lad.)
“He was just about to get in his car and obviously I recognized him and he sort of took a second look at me and recognized me.”
Rory introduced himself and, out of respect, referred to Jack as Mr. Nicklaus. He insisted that his dad do the same.
“It was just amazing to meet the best player of all time at the present moment in the parking lot at the mall,” Rory wrote, “so that was a good start to the week and we definitely thought it was a good omen.”
You might call it that.
Turned pro: 2007
Birthplace: Holywood, Northern Ireland
World ranking: 17
Amateur wins: 5
Professional wins: 1
−The Armchair Golfer
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