10 years ago, it was the year of Rory McIlroy. He won two majors, the PGA Championship and the British Open, He didn’t do it in the Masters because on the second day he shot 77 shots and beat Sergio García, also, in the Bridgestone. He had recovered the idyll with the victory and the race towards Nick Faldo’s six majors, and even Harry Vardon’s seven, the European top of majors, seemed expeditious.

Without a clear ruler in world golf, with Tiger fallen into hell, the Northern Irishman, who was 25 years old -his father received a handsome sum for a bet made years ago that his son was going to win the British before he was 26-, he was the world reference. But he has never won a big one again.

At Pinehurst 2, the course with the extreme greens, Rory once again co-led a Grand Slam tournament. He matched Patrick Cantlay with a five-meter putt on the 18th hole – he didn’t even wait for it to come in before walking towards the hole to pick up the ball “although it was because he thought it wouldn’t come” -. He scored five hits and achieved a round without bogeys, like Sergio – he had never done it until now in a US Open – to see himself on top as in the first round of the 2023 PGA Championship. Without a doubt it was his skill with the irons and the power in his tee shots which brought into the wave a golfer who had arrived at the tournament with headlines more from the coated paper than from the sports one due to his reconciliation with his wife.

McIlroy, already with two victories this season. in Zurich in pairs and Wells Fargo, the tournament that always wins – it has done so four times – seems prepared to restart the race in the big ones. He has merit to achieve it in the match that he shared with the number 1 and 2 in the world, Scottie Scheffler, news because he finished over par (71), and Xander Schauffele (70). “It was a good day. Nothing spectacular, but good. When I saw that I couldn’t try anything, I shot to the center of the green and two putts. In this tournament it’s not about how many birdies you make, but how many bogeys you don’t make.”

Source link