Rory McIlroy won the 2011 U.S. Open by eight strokes.
RORY VS. TIGER
Van Sickle: A minor commotion was raised last week when Luke Donald suggested that Rory McIlroy has more talent than Tiger Woods. And here we thought we could go a week without mentioning Tiger. Thanks, Luke. Did you get what Luke was trying to say, and if so, do you agree? My take: Rory may or may not be better than Tiger right this second, but he’s about 65 victories and 13 majors short of convincing me he’s more talented.
Bamberger: I don’t know if Rory has more talent, and it doesn’t really matter in the end, but I know what Luke means. I’ve always thought that John Daly was the single most talented golfer I’ve seen in person. Fred Couples might be right behind him. They have three majors between them; Tiger’s won three in year. I’ll take work over talent any day of the week, in any field, really.
Gorant: Rory is awesome, but I don’t think he’ll be what Tiger was/is. Rory is 22, and you get the sense that despite the talent he’s still figuring out how to win. Woods had that pretty well down by that age. Overall, I’m still not sure Rory has all the shots Tiger does and the ability to pull them off under pressure.
Rouse: I thought Luke was saying that Rory has more natural talent than Tiger, but that Tiger has the x-factor with his mental game. But Luke’s Twitter backpedaling made me wonder if he even knew what he was saying.
Herre: Right now, at this moment, I think Rory is best. Donald’s point was that McIlroy is a natural. So was Tiger — 20 years ago. Rory also has a young man’s stroke, while we’ve seen Woods struggle.
Charlie Hanger, executive editor, Golf.com: Right. Natural is the word he was going for — Rory’s a natural, and right now he’s a more natural golfer than Tiger. But it’s preposterous to say he has more talent. As Rory himself pointed out when asked about it, there are lots of talents, including natural ability to swing a golf club, mental focus, toughness and work ethic. They’re both naturals, but as far as we know right now, Tiger has more talent than anyone ever except for Mr. Nicklaus.
Tell us what you think in the comments area below: Which player has more natural talent, Rory or Tiger?
KONO AND THE LPGA
Van Sickle: The LPGA was in the news twice for the wrong reasons last week. One, the long-time State Farm Classic in Springfield, Ill., pulled the plug after a 36-year run, reversing a stretch of good sponsorship news for the tour in recent months. You hate to see Springfield leave. It was in a class with Corning and a few other spots where the LPGA coming to town was a highlight of the year. Maybe it’s business, maybe it’s better to be in bigger markets, but it’s a blow to the tour as it tried to turn around its recent schedule reductions. The real loser here is Springfield.
Two, Stephanie Kono of UCLA went to all three stages of Q-school after tour officials gave her coach incorrect information — twice — about the tour’s Q-school policy. Kono just wanted to assure herself a Futures Tour spot, which she would’ve had if she stopped after two stages, and she could’ve finished her last semester at UCLA before turning pro. She instead went to the third stage, thinking she had to, and won her LPGA card, which can’t be deferred. So she has to turn pro now. Should the LPGA have offered her a deferment after giving out incorrect information?
Godich: I don’t see why not. The LPGA set a precedent when it waived the age requirement for Lexi Thompson. If you are going to make exceptions, why not do it in this situation?
Herre: Kono can still finish her last semester at UCLA, but she can’t play for the Bruins. It’s hard to imagine the LPGA and Kono won’t be able to find a solution to this problem. I think commissioner Whan is a practical man, and I expect common sense to prevail.
Rouse: At the same time, Kono’s just made the LPGA, which you have to think was her ultimate dream as a golfer. I got the sense that Kono felt almost guilty for having to miss her final season at UCLA. (They’re defending champions.) Once the craziness subsides, I don’t think Kono is going to push too hard to make the LPGA reverse its decision. I do think the LPGA needs to do something to make sure this doesn’t happen again. How do you give out the wrong information twice? Get your act together.
Tell us what you think in the comments area below: Will the LPGA miss Springfield? Should the LPGA give Stephanie Kono a chance to finish school and keep her card?