Ever since Rory McIlroy came on the professional golf scene, it has been almost pre-ordained that he would someday become the number one golfer in the world. After this past weekend’s win at the Honda Classic, this pre-ordination has become reality.
After watching Rory’s play the past two years, I would guess that no one is really surprised at his ascension. I know I am not.
Rory’s rise cannot have come too soon. After Tiger Woods dominated the professional golf ranks for many years, the role of number one was passed around among a handful of top-flight golfers (Luke Donald, Lee Westwood and Martin Kaymar). While all three of these men are great players in their own right, it was hard for me to get my head around the fact that they were ‘the best player in the world.’ At times, it almost felt like they were handed the crown by default.
So now it feels like we have a deserved heir to the thrown; a worthy successor who will defend the crown with honor and dignity. Unless, of course, if Tiger’s game comes back to the point where he can present a serious challenge to McIlroy’s reign. And, from what we’ve seen lately, it sure looks like Tiger is on the cusp of greatness once again.
If that were to happen, it would set up this year as one of the greatest in the history of pro golf. So let’s all keep our fingers crossed for a monumental duel between the deposed king and the young upstart. A battle that will surely be one for the ages.