Monday, October 21, 2013

Rory Will Return

Here's the last shot I saw a then 22-year old Rory McIlroy hit live. It was the 10th hole, 4th round of the 2011 U.S. Open, in the immense natural amphitheater surrounding that par 3 and the neighboring 18th peninsula green at Congressional Country Club in Potomac Maryland.

After this shot there was no remaining doubt as to the outcome, so I ambled back across the Gold course to beat the crowd and catch the shuttle bus to offsite parking.

In 2013 McIlroy dropped from World No. 1, to not even making the top 30 group that participated in the PGA's final Tour Championship event. But Rory is a streaky player in a streaky game. He has the smoothest swing I've ever seen, the purest sound of club striking ball. McIlroy charged from ten strokes back to place joint second at the Korean Open over the weekend, albeit against a weak field.  

I've been fortunate enough to attend U.S. Opens in 1997 and 2011 at Congressional, and in 2004 at Shinnecock Hills, out in the Hamptons on the eastern tip of Long Island. From my new Mountain West outpost, I'm looking further west for the 2015 reprise at Chambers Bay southeast of Seattle and the 2019 U.S. Open scheduled for Pebble Beach. Talent will out. Rory will have long been back at or near the top by the next time I get to a U.S. Open.

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