The Hottest Stock in Golf: Rory McIlroy and the McIl-slam
He’s won three tournaments on the spin, a feat that is impressive for any golfer but they haven’t been any old tournaments. No, the newly crowned world number one has won The Open Championship, the WGC Bridgstone Invitational and the PGA Championship! When Rory is on and playing well he is literally unstoppable, his golf is incredible and now that he has four majors to his name people are really talking about what his future may hold.
His recent performances have been truly incredible. I was watching him coming down the stretch at Valhalla and I saw something in him that I have not before seen. When Rory was waiting for Fowler and Mickelson to play out on the holes ahead of him he was literally pacing around like a prized boxer. He was ready to go and had a determination in his eye that was Tiger-like. At this point I would also like to say that the performances of Rickie Fowler in majors this year have been astounding. His hard work with Butch Harmon has clearly paid off!
Anyway, I imagine the people at Nike are finally rubbing their hands with glee. When he first switched from Titleist to Nike in early 2013 for $200 million his performances weren’t much to write home about. He struggled with many things (See here) and had a lot of pressure heaped on top of him by the golfing media. Many said he was overrated and wasn’t worth the deal. I’m sure he’s delighted to be showing these people they were wrong. The same people who are touting him to be the next challenger to Nicklaus’ record of eighteen major titles by the way. I have always said that Rory’s ‘slump’ last season was just that and that he’d come back strong. He is a young man that clearly loves his job and I think he is a excellent ambassador for our great sport. He has a chance at the McIl-slam now (once this phrase takes off please remember who coined it) and I certainly wouldn’t put it past him.
Dustin Johnson: Golf’s Latest Bad Boy
So, Phil Mickelson is now no longer top of golf’s most wanted list. In a strange statement, Dustin Johnson announced that he would be taking an immediate leave from golf that would last around six months. This was then followed by rumours of a cocaine problem and a subsequent ban enforced by the PGA. Guess what, the ban was for six months strange eh?
An unnamed source told Golf.com that Johnson has now failed three drugs tests in the last five years. His first for marijuana in 2009 and two for cocaine in 2012 and 2014. Now, the first question this raises is why has this been covered up? Why did the PGA not tell us about this player’s recreational drug habits and test failures? Is he too big a name to take down?
Also, it is now emerging that he has had affairs with two wives of PGA Tour players. One of these relationships actually caused a marriage to break up. Now, we are talking here about the fiancé of Paulina Gretzky, the great one’s daughter. Have you seen her? I’m sorry if this offends anyone but why the hell would you cheat on any woman let alone Paulina Gretzky?! Sort it out Dustin!
Anyway, it’s time that the major tours started naming and shaming drug users within our sport. Even if it is recreational drugs, the anti-doping policy in golf needs to be more transparent. I wonder what his caddy thought every time he asked him for help with a line…
Tiger’s Time to be Honest
Finally, it has been well documented this year that Tiger Woods has had real injury trouble. He has made a return of sorts but it is still a worry. The US Ryder Cup points are now done and the only way for Tiger to get a place at Gleneagles is via a Captain’s Pick. Would you pick him?
Tiger is arguably the greatest to play the game, that’s not in doubt, but his Ryder Cup record isn’t much better than woeful. He doesn’t perform well in this event and given his form when he has played this year has been poor I can’t see him getting picked. Can you leave out Tiger Woods though? If anyone can, Captain Watson can. He has asked Tiger for honesty with regards to his fitness so he can make an informed decision.
Having made a very late entry into the PGA Championship he missed the cut. His putting is leaving an awful lot to be desired and it seems that he has lost confidence in it. The rest of his game looks alright but it is certainly a long way off the golden years of Tiger Woods.
Interestingly, Tiger has adopted a slower swing in an attempt to reduce the chance of injury and I have to say that it is something that should stay. Why is Foley not telling him to stop lashing at the ball? He needs to make a big change and I certainly think that a new coach could be the answer, Foley has done nothing for him.
Want to chip in on what any of the above? Tweet me at @kennypallas
Image credit: bbc.com