Rory McIlroy celebrates his stunning eight-shot victory in the USPGA on Sunday IF ANYONE was in any doubt that Rory McIlroy is the new Tiger Woods, that illusion should have now been dispelled.
To win one Major championship by eight shots may be considered freakish, to win a second is the act of a golfing monster.
Just as at last year’s US Open, McIlroy’s peers lined him up in the final round of the USPGA Championship.
But when they looked in the sights, they found he had disappeared over the horizon.
What McIlroy did in turning Kiawah Island into his personal plaything and moving to No1 in the world illustrated that he is the most potent force to hit golf since Woods was ripping up the record books at the turn of the century.
Graeme McDowell described him as a once-in-a-decade player and Padraig Harrington predicted he would go on to surpass Jack Nicklaus’s tally of 18 Majors.
He is certainly on target to eclipse Woods 14, having won his second Major one month younger than his boyhood hero.
I think I heard Tiger say that to make a good season a great season, you need a Major championship.
Now I ve had two great seasons in a row, said McIlroy, 23.
It was great to win my first Major last year and to back that up with another one this year…I can t ask for any more.
I just want to keep working hard, keep practising and hopefully there’s a few more of these in my closet when my career finishes.
I ve won my second Major at the same age as Tiger did, but he went on that incredible run in 2000, 2001, 2002 and won so many.
I d love to sit here and tell you that I m going to do the same thing, but I just don t know.
I don t really care if I win by one shot or if I win by eight.
I just want to win, but it is nice to be able to have the luxury of knowing that you re going to win with a few holes to go.
The images of McIlroy closing out the championship in last-round Tiger Red were heavy with resonance, although golf’s latest alpha male played down the significance afterwards.
If I was going to be paired with him, I wasn t going to wear red.
I remember what happened to Luke Donald in 2006 at Medinah, he said.
I wasn t playing with him so I thought I would wear it.
I might have to do it from now on no wonder he wins so much.
McIlroy revealed he had felt a sixth sense something was brewing in North Carolina when he turned up at the course.
I felt from the start of the week that it could be special, he said.
I turned up on Monday afternoon and I was thinking to myself, I just have a good feeling about this week .
The victory also enabled McIlroy to round on criticism that he had lost his way earlier in the season having temporarily put work behind play on his priority list.
I don t think I could have answered it in any better way, he said.
It did motivate me.
I did want to go out there and prove a few people wrong.
That’s what I did.
It took me all of four weeks to get my game back in shape and get out of my mini slump and this is the result.
After his latest heroics he will be Europe’s talisman at the Ryder Cup and one of the main draws on either side of the Atlantic.
The spotlight is exponentially increasing but, if it is the inevitable by-product of brilliance, he will gladly take it.
I realise that every time my face is on TV or I m playing in a tournament that I am a role model for a lot of people and a lot of kids do look up to me, he said.
I try to do my best in that regard and put myself across as honestly and as modestly as possible .
In that respect, the new Tiger is definitely an upgrade on the old one.
Geoff Cameron: Hoping to turn out in the Premier League next season with Stoke Stoke are confident Geoff Cameron will be granted a work permit, allowing him to complete a move to the Premier League.
The Potters have a deal in place for the Houston Dynamo defender but are still waiting on international clearance.
It is unlikely that Cameron will be given the green light by the time Tony Pulis’ side return to England from their pre-season tour of the United States.
They are, however, optimistic regarding their chances of getting the deal signed off well before the start of the new Premier League season.
Important factors “We wouldn’t have come this far and worked as hard on getting the deal done if we didn’t think we had a good chance of getting a work permit,” chief executive Tony Scholes told the club’s official website .
“Ideally, he would have had more international caps, which would have made it easier.
But the fact that he is a first choice in the US national side will count in his favour.
“Ironically, two other important factors are the difficulty in getting the deal done, because the MLS didn’t want to lose one of their best players, and the move by another Premier League club to come in for him and make it difficult right at the end of the negotiations.
“It should also work in our favour that Geoff has been in the MLS All Stars XI three times in the past five seasons, voted by his peers as one of the best.
In those other two seasons when he wasn’t selected, one was his rookie year and the other he was injured.”