Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

McIlroy Is Ready to Complete His Grand Slam and Rule the World; Open Champion Is Setting His Sights on the Masters. by Kevin Garside at Hoylake

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

McIlroy Is Ready to Complete His Grand Slam and Rule the World; Open Champion Is Setting His Sights on the Masters. by Kevin Garside at Hoylake

Article excerpt

Byline: Kevin Garside

IT was the first of many laps of honour, an impromptu signing session at the end of his media conference. Open flags, giant golf balls, sundry memorabilia presented to the new Open Champion so that he may glorify mundane items with his moniker.

Everything Rory McIlroy touches turns to gold. His two-shot victory here yesterday was his third Major triumph and moves him into exalted company. Only five golfers in the modern era have won a Major before their 26th birthday, the others being Gene Sarazen, Jack Nicklaus, Seve Ballesteros and Tiger Woods.

Only Nicklaus and Woods have done what he has, win three by 25. He is one leg away from the career grand slam. Only the Masters eludes him, and he almost had that in the bag, surrendering a four-shot lead on the final day three years ago. This is a different species to the cherubic fellow who collapsed so dramatically at Augusta. And he is ready to rule the world.

"I've talked about this a little bit this year in press conferences, and some of the guys will have heard me say that golf is looking to someone to put their hand up and try to dominate the game.

"I said at that time I want to be that person. I want be to be the guy that goes on and wins Majors, wins tournaments.

I'd love to be in that position. I've had chances before to kick on from there. I did after my second Major at Kiawah. I kicked on for another six months and played really well. I feel like there's a lot more left in me.

"Golf is what I think about when I get up in the morning. It's what I think about when I go to bed. I just want to be the best golfer that I can be. And I know if I can do that, then trophies like this are within my capability. I know there is one Major left this year [US PGA] and I'll be trying my best, but I'm looking forward to next April [Masters] and trying to complete the career grand slam."

After 18 holes with McIlroy yesterday, Ricky Fowler needs no persuading that the grand slam is on. "I don't see any reason why he's not going to win [at Augusta]. Definitely fits his game. It's hard to say that there's really any course that doesn't suit him when he's on his game. I've seen him play very well there. It's just a matter of time."

Only five men have done it, Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Nicklaus, Gary Player and Woods. McIlroy sits alongside the likes of Arnold Palmer, Tom Watson, Sam Snead, Walter Hagen and Lee Trevino as one of only 11 to have claimed three legs of the fabled four. Given the nature of his failure at Augusta to win there will feel special, but it is unlikely to top the feeling he experienced at Hoylake.

McIlroy started the final day with a six-shot advantage. No lead is armourplated, as Ernie Els proved coming from six back to win in 2012 and Phil Mickelson by five at Muirfield last year. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.