Steve Eubanks of PGA.com says it perfectly: "Honest and modest: The game needs someone like Rory Mcilroy, not because it needs a dominant player to supplant Tiger, but because it needs a charming gentleman to recover from him.”
Golf fans love to watch the wee lad make a very difficult game look easy…but the Rory Story is much more than his golf talent. We at NBT are always on the look-out for the “Next Big Things”—this time it’s a wonderful young man who brings to golf and the world a person we can ALL find greatness in.
With Tiger we get the cold dispassionate stare; the head-down marches past the children shouting his name; the arm pumps as if he had just won a to-the-death swordplay match.
With Rory we (and more importantly young golfers) get charm—winking and waving after each amazing shot; actual truthful answers to questions, not the Tiger denialapalooza; and fist pumps that are just as exciting while being markedly different: more joyful and genuine without a hint of anger.
Tiger—I speak for many when I say we put up with the virtual nothingness of your robotic personality proof being because the shots and putts you made were just so damn amazing.
But the aseptic way you achieved that greatness always played hollow to me.
Here’s an example. Rory hit a magnificent drive in Round 2 that lodged in a dead tree on FLY—a tough incredibly unlucky break. If Tiger had hit that, we’d have seen the “that can’t be happening” look—the flip of the club and the swearing down the fairway.
With Rory, he found the ball, took an unplayable, and hit a marvelous recovery shot. No muss, no fuss—just grace under pressure.
With Rory we get the Tiger-like dominance and yet Arnold Palmer charm and charisma with the crowd both young and old.
In other words, a champion we can appreciate and love.
Rory…may there be many, many more. My bromance has fully bloomed.