Well ... he did it. With all eyes on him, expecting him to win another major, Rory McIlroy did it. It wasn't easy -- in fact, there were more than a few times during Sunday's final-round that it looked like he would fade away. But he never did. So, what does this mean? Does this mean that he is the next coming? Not of Tiger Woods, but of something else? Something we haven't seen since Tiger Woods? It's a small sample size, but it sure looks like he's ready to take control of the professional golfing world. And by take control, I mean, dominate, just like Tiger a decade ago.
McIlroy will never be able to match what Tiger meant to the game, but if he continues down this road, he may just surpass Tiger on the golf course; well, at least the majors anyway. Tiger will hold many records when he retires someday and many of those will not be touchable by McIlroy, but the one that matters most, at least in Tiger and Rory's mind -- majors won -- is the one that McIlroy can now set his sights on. It seems crazy to project that far into the future, but what McIlroy demonstrated last week, the ability to win as the prohibitive favorite, that's the stuff of legends.
This week: Wyndham Championship - Sedgefield Country Club, Greensboro, N.C.
Last Year: Patrick Reed shot a final-round 66 on his way to a two-stroke victory over Brian Harman and John Huh.
Players to Consider:
He hasn't had a great year, by his standards, but the state of his game rarely matters when he plays here. The last four years, Simpson has three finishes inside the top-11 including a win in 2011.
As long as the field is not loaded, Clark will be just fine. He's struggled the last two weeks against the best fields in the world, but prior to that he posted consecutive top-5s against weaker fields. Guess what the field is like this week?
He certainly hasn't played like a top-5 player since he proclaimed that he was earlier in the year, but the talent is there to compete every week and perhaps a trip back to where it all started last year will get him out of his funk.
Haas has been known to get hot around this time of the year as evidence by his record at this event. Haas has two top-10s in his last five tries here, and only once in those five tries has he finished outside the top 30.
My track record backing Watney this season is atrocious, so I'm a little hesitant to put him here this week, but there are signs that he's actually got it figured out. He's finished T33 or better in each of his last three starts, which is actually a great sign for Watney.
Players to Avoid:
Wi has really struggled this season, and he's seemingly saved his worst golf for the second half of the season. Wi has missed five of his last six cuts and hasn't cracked the top 25 since January.
Garrigus appeared to be back on track little more than a month ago, but consecutive missed cuts has me wondering if he's about to fall into a slump once again. The missed cuts came at the John Deere and Canadian Open, so it's not like the competition was to blame.
It's been a tale of two seasons for Mackenzie. He opened the year with a flourish and made us all think he was back to his old form ... then April came. Since his first start in April, Mackenzie has struggled mightily. He's made only one cut since April and that came at the John Deere Classic.
Two missed cuts followed by a WD at the PGA Championship last week. As of now he's still in the field this week, but that could change at any moment. Whether he plays doesn't matter as something is not right with his game.
Driscoll got off to a decent start early in the 2014 season, but once the calendar turned to April, his game disappeared. Driscoll has made only two cuts in his last 12 starts and that isn't likely to chance this week as his track record at this event is poor as well.
ONE AND DONE GOLFER
Last week: Rory McIlroy (W) - $1,800,000; Season - $6,318,092
This week: Tim Clark - Hopefully his poor play the last two weeks was a result of stiff competition and tough venues. If so, he should be good to go this week.
Group A: Patrick Reed, Brandt Snedeker
Group B: Webb Simpson, Bill Haas, Hideki Matsuyama, Billy Horschel
Group C: Tim Clark, Nick Watney
Last week: Rory McIlroy (W); Streak - 3
This week: Webb Simpson - Clark is pretty solid, but just in case his play the last couple weeks is a sign of things to come, I'm going to go the safe route with Simpson.