By Ann Liguori
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This magical world of golf continues to deliver the goods. “The goods” to a sports reporter and journalist are “the stories.” And at every Major golf championship, the sport always seems to deliver. This year at the US Open, it was the heart-warming story of 22-year-old Rory McIlroy and his record breaking, brilliant play at Congressional. And on Father’s Day, and with Rory’s Dad Gerry looking on, the story got even better.
If you are wondering why this young man is so likeable, you have only to look at his background and to his parents. They are humble and hard working people. His father worked three jobs so that Rory could play junior golf. His mother worked the night shift at a factory near their home in Holywood, in Northern Ireland.
What a wonderful Father’s Day present it was when Rory McIlroy won his first Major Championship on Sunday! It’s a feel-good story, a welcomed story in golf and one we will be following for years to come!
McIlroy did not disappoint. He had been saying all week that he had learned a tremendous amount from the melt down he experienced in the final round of The Masters. He sought advice from Jack Nicklaus and maintained his focus and positive attitude. He wrapped up a spectacular wire to wire victory with a 16 under 268, breaking a dozen US Open records in the process and becoming the youngest champion at 22 years of age since Bobby Jones in 1923.
We watched the most incredible four rounds of golf ever played in a Major. Rory’s swing is a pleasure to watch. Technically, it is as fluid as can be. He crushes the ball off the tee, averaging over 310 yards. His iron game is precise. His short game is unbelieveable, helping him get up and down to save par several times on Saturday and Sunday when nerves got to his tee shots. His putting was spot-on. When he is relaxed, he swing looks perfect.
One has to wonder what Tiger was thinking as he watched Rory McIlroy’s precision and steadiness.
When I hear people say they can’t follow golf unless Tiger is playing, I shake my head. Rory brings the ‘feel good’ factor back to the game. He’s nice, respectful, accessible and charitable – and he’s a heck of a player as his record-breaking feats have shown.
Put it all together with his amazing swing and you have the complete package. And the sport is so ready for that.
Be sure to visit Ann’s web site at www.annliguori.com and order copies of her book and DVD’s of interviews with top names in sports and entertainment.