Is Rory McIlroy the next Tiger Woods?

Of course not.

For starters, he’s a white golfer from County Down, Northern Ireland. That’s about as far away from Cypress, California as you can get, both geographically and culturally. So let’s just go ahead and throw out any and all comparisons to Tigers Woods right now.

If anything, he’s the first golfer who will step up and pose a legitimate challenge to overtaking Woods as the next golfing stud. I won’t say he’s going to overtake Tiger as the world’s best golfer, because I don’t think one can say, with confidence, that Tiger is the world’s best golfer, but in order to get back to the top of the stoop, Tiger needs somebody he can set his sights on, and that golfer might be McIlroy.

Think about it: Let’s say McIlroy goes out and wins the British Open and PGA Championship. That’s three majors in one year. Up until now, most of us think Tiger is the only player capable of pulling off a feat of that magnitude. If McIlroy does it, the claims will be made that he’s the star of this generation, with the insinuation that Tiger risks becoming an afterthought.

That claim, alone, will drive Tiger to return to greatness. I get the feeling that what Tiger views as slights against him are what drives him, similar to how Michael Jordan was wired. Maybe in order to see the “old” Tiger Woods, he needs to feel threatened by an up-and-comer?

If you’re a golf fan, you want Tiger Woods at the top of his game. Maybe Rory McIlory is the guy who sets him back on that path.

Image borrowed from zzazazz’s Flickr page.


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