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Sunday, June 19, 2011

A Roaring Future

Rory McIlroy hoists the U.S. Open trophy after Sunday's triumph. Photo courtesy of McClatchy-Tribune News Service.

It's less than an hour after Rory McIlroy wrapped up the 111th United States Open, and all the talk this week over his dismantling of Congressional Country Club has been about the parallels between his performance and Tiger Woods dominance at Pebble Beach Golf Links in 2000.

Well, it's a fair comparison for the simple reasoning that golf fans haven't witnessed a feat like McIlroy's since Woods did it in 2000.

Now McIlroy is in a class by himself, at least for just one week.

Before everyone gets carried away thinking McIlroy is the next coming of Tiger, the Northern Irishman still has to prove it with multiple major titles.

And that only comes with time.

However, it was nice to see McIlroy get over his Masters meltdown, where he ballooned to a final round 80 as he handed the green jacket to Charl Schwartzel.

But, alas, McIlroy fought those demons back with all his golf weaponry, including a self-described cocky and arrogant on-course attitude.

Simply put, he kept pushing himself to increase the lead. Never playing it cautiously, protecting a lead and trying to limp to the finish line in a Masters-like emulation.

Unlike what Padraig Harrington was reported as saying, let's not jump the gun and expect a record-setting performance every time McIlroy tees it up.

The British Open is the third major of the year, and McIlroy has a great shot of playing well there for no other reason than he grew up with links golf.

To think, if he hadn't choked at Augusta National, he'd be halfway to the Grand Slam.

Then again, if he didn't blow the lead, would he have rewritten the history books with his new found vigor and determination after learning from the Masters debacle?

Will McIlroy emerge as the top gun over the long haul, and become the long-awaited rival to Woods (pre-scandal version, if he can retain that form) akin to what Nicklaus endured over his lengthy career?

Without trying to answer those impossible questions, we're left knowing one thing - golf's future is a roaring one.

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