Tiger Woods didnâ€™t play in this yearâ€™s U.S. Open Championship. He has been battling a knee injury for many months now, and just wasnâ€™t healthy enough to play. As you all know, if Tiger doesnâ€™t play, I usually donâ€™t watch. But thanks to social media outlets, like Twitter and Facebook, itâ€™s impossible for me to ignore whatâ€™s going on. I follow a lot of golfers on Twitter! So needless to say, I know enough of whatâ€™s going on, even if I donâ€™t watch the tournament, to be dangerous. I know who is playing well, who isnâ€™t, and who didnâ€™t make the cut.
Rory Makes an Early Statement
Rory McIlroy, a twenty-two year old kid from Hollywood, Northern Ireland, started the week off firing a smooth 65. He followed that up with solid 66 and fired 68 on Saturday. He took a HUGE lead into the final round, starting off with a birdie on the first hole on Sunday, Fatherâ€™s Day. He was on cruise control all day long. He looked confident and managed to pull out another great round of golf shooting 69 on Sunday.
I donâ€™t feel bad for not watching when Tigerâ€™s not playing. Heâ€™s one of the main reasons I got into golf in the first place. But that doesnâ€™t mean I donâ€™t respect the others guys on tour and their ability to swing a golf club.
I have nothing but good things to say about Rory, his game, and his win here at Congressional Country Club for the 2011 U.S. Open. The kid made some big putts, managed to hit a ton of fairways and greens, and deserved to win this event. He was calm, cool, and collected. He looks a lot older than twenty-two years old on television. (Did you know he went to see Hangover II on Friday to stay focused with his lead going into the weekend? He also set the record for the lowest score after 36 holes.)
Tiger & the Young Guns
That doesnâ€™t mean I didnâ€™t miss Tiger this weekend. It just means that the older he gets, and the better these kids get at the game he once completely dominated, the more I realize I need to at least pay attention to what they are doing on the course. One day Tiger will retire. I have accepted that. If this knee doesnâ€™t get any better, it will be much sooner than later when that happens.
When Tiger does retire, I will have to find a new favorite, because the game means more to me than just one player. He got me hereâ€¦ but guys like Rory will carry me through the years.
Congratulations Rory. Enjoy this winâ€¦ it wonâ€™t be your last, I am sure of that.