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Rory hasn’t been “Rory” since the 2015 DP World Tour Championship in Dubai. He won that week. That’s what being “Rory” is. Winning in style. Not only in flashy gold Kobe-inspired golf shoes and chiseled pullovers, but with highlight-tape, Rolex commercial worthy golf shots that stand the test of time. Rory was himself this week.
K Club. Overcast. 16th Hole. What should be a three-shot par 5. One behind Russell Knox. 271 yd 2nd shot. Only a sliver of green to aim at with water off the right fringe and forest left. And just seconds later, he’s 25 feet from the pin safely on the green. Rors gives the home crowd what they want – and roars is what he got back. A super-clutch Rory McIlroy launched-into-orbit fairway wood that was a catalyst for the win type of roar. A nation (or two) backing their one true son type of roar. It was the best shot Rory has struck with a golf club in recent memory. Well…until about 25 minutes later. Rory had the one-shot lead he acquired on 16 while facing another 2nd shot into another par 5. How could he possibly live up to the excitement that ensued just a couple of holes back? I don’t know…maybe almost hole out for an albatross? Maybe seal his national open with his name on the marquee with another gravity defying fairway wood from 252 YARDS to 2 FEET? It was all speculative…until he did it. Until he put it to two feet and finished with an eagle to win as a professional on Irish soil for his first time ever. Touché.
We’ve seen flashes of Rory this season. Most recently a Sunday 66 at Quail Hollow and a Friday 64 at TPC Sawgrass. But full-form has eluded him until this week. Now, Rory is back to full strength just weeks ahead of the year’s second major, the U.S. Open at Oakmont. Jason Day (aka #1) is in full-flight coming off his win at The Players. Who are we missing?
Right. Jordan. The questions swirling since he was wrung out at Golden Bell. He was back in the spotlight this week at home in the Byron Nelson after shooting 64-65-67 for the first few days, but finished with a disappointing 74. He has just a couple more starts in between now and Oakmont, but as we well know, it may only take one shot to turn his season around.