No. 3 in the continuing series of the Top Golf Stories of 2012, Rory McIlroy won four events on the 2012 PGA Tour. He also won the money titles on both the PGA and European Tours and solidified his hold as No. 1 on the Official World Golf Rankings.
You can view Top Golf Stories Nos. 4-10 at: http://www.edraft.com/golf/news/
Rory McIlroy is only 23-years-old and we are watching him mature and realize his golfing potential right before our eyes.
Fellow Irishmen Darren Clarke and Graeme McDowell have been predicting for several years that young Rory would challenge Tiger Woods for lofty status in the golf world. Evidently they knew of whence they spoke.
In August Rory added his second major trophy to his mantle with his win at the PGA Championship. It wasn’t just a win it was a dominating win. He won by eight shots over a windswept seaside golf course, Kiawah Island. If you remember he also won the 2011 U.S. Open by eight shots at Congressional.
Can you think of someone else that won majors by wide margins?
He started 2012 with a runner-up finish in Abu Dhabi and a T-5 in Dubai on the European Tour.
Rory made his PGA Tour debut at the WGC-Accenture Match Play. He beat Lee Westwood in the semi-final match but lost to Hunter Mahan in the final. He sloughed off his disappointment by winning the next week at the Honda Classic by fending off a streaking Tiger Woods who turned in a final round 62.
He didn’t stop there. The following week at the WGC-Cadillac he posted a third place finish.
In his first five events of 2012 he had a win, two seconds, a third, a T-5 and collected over $1.8 million.
Things went a little sideways for McIlroy after March. He was not a factor at the Masters finishing T-40. He recovered slightly by losing to Rickie Fowler in a playoff at the Wells Fargo for his third runner-up of the year.
Rory missed the cut at the Players and the Memorial. Perhaps the jet set lifestyle and girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki became a slight distraction.
He is 23, rich and good looking, after all.
After a brain-storming session with his father he hired his long-time coach on a full-time basis and got back to work. He was rewarded with a T-7 at Memphis and then missed another cut at the U.S. Open.
He still couldn’t get it going at the Open Championship at Royal Lytham but he completely blitzed the rest of the golf world over the last two months of the season.
He was T-5 at Akron and won the PGA Championship in August. In September he won the Deutsche Bank and the BMW Championship in the FedEx Cup Playoffs.
With a T-10 in the Tour Championship he finished the PGA Tour season No. 1 on the money list with $8 million.
After that he also helped the Europeans retain the Ryder Cup at Medinah and wrapped up the European Tour’s Race to Dubai.
Rory McIlroy is the heir apparent to Tiger Woods. He had a phenomenal year and it only appears that he is beginning to scratch his true potential.
Rory, Caroline, and Tiger make a tasty ménage a trois that should make for tantalizing headlines for a few years to come.