Thursday, September 30, 2010
Why People Freaking Out About Rory Wanting to Play Tiger is Ridiculous
The booming story this week at the Ryder Cup was young Rory McIlroy "calling out" Tiger Woods at the Ryder Cup, basically saying he'd love to play the top golfer in the world if the cards fell the right way.
McIlroy, just 21-years-old, said, "I would love to face (Tiger). Unless his game rapidly improves ... I think anyone in the European team would fancy their chances against him."
After Tiger got wind of the comments, he responded to the idea of a McIlroy-Woods pairing, "Me too." And there you have it.
People were chatting all sorts of stuff about this "challenge" by McIlroy, but it shouldn't surprise anyone. Since Tiger Woods arrived on the map in 1996 (and well before that as THE amateur golfer to beat since he was in diapers), people have wanted to face him, because (tired cliche alert) to be the best you have to beat the best.
Rory is the next in line to be what Tiger started. A young guy that can win and has won on multiple tours, McIlroy has the type of game that almost seems too good. He hits it long and straight, is an incredible iron player and still seems to have youthful nerves over putts. Paired with Phil Mickelson earlier this year in the final round at the Quail Hollow Championship, Rory shot a 62 to take the title by four shots. Again ... to be the best you have to beat the best.
Lefty was asked about the Rory-Tiger situation, and laughed it off.
"That's the feel that any player has. Any player wants to play the best (and) Tiger is ranked No. 1 in the world. That's the type of charisma that Rory McIlroy has. He's just like any other top player that wants to take on the best. That's not any type of controversy or saga.
They get along great, are you kidding me? Rory is one of the nicest guys you can imagine. He's one of the classiest guys out on Tour ask Tiger gets along with just about everybody, usually because he beats them and he's nice to them when he beats them. Whether it's in a PGA Tour event or what have you. (Laughter). Rory is as classy a guy as there is. I've been paired with him a bunch and I really enjoy playing with him. The whole European Team is built with a lot of classy character."
If Colin and Mr. Pavin have any understanding of how important it is to the fans to do something like pair these two together on Sunday, they will. A McIlroy-Woods pairing will be incredible for golf, because it will give us the ability to see the new blood go up against the old blood. In Canada at the Presidents Cup, Mike Weir wanted Tiger and got him. Hopefully that's the case here, and hopefully that showdown is as epic as it seems like it would be.