And So The Conversation Turned

“And so the conversation turned
Until the sun went down
And many fantasies were learned
On that day” – “Fascination” by The Human League

Hyperbole exists in sports. It’s probably why we watch the darn event most of the time. We want to see one of two things: a close finish or greatness. On Sunday afternoon at Congressional Country Club we saw one of those.

Rory McIlroy, the 22-year-old Northern Irishman, took off the bridesmaid outfit and joined the major club. And now, he’s the best golfer in the history of modern civilization.

Wait. What?

McIlroy set or tied a ginormous amount of records in his week in Washington and deserved to win the United States Open trophy. This brings his major count to one. Todd Hamilton has won a major. So has Rich Beem. Remember Paul Lawrie?

Here’s the point. Don’t crown McIlroy as the greatest golfer in the history of the game. He’s very, very good for a kid who’s just over the legal age to drink. Rory’s also tossed away more majors (2) than major trophies collected (1). McIlroy shot an 80 in the second round of the Open Championship last year and followed that up with another 80 at Augusta on Sunday this year. He’s yet to succeed while feeling the heat in a big time tournament.

Take nothing away from McIlroy. He punished the field from the very start and destroyed the extraordinarily soft setup from the USGA. He owned Congressional. He won the event handily.

Just don’t compare him to Jack or Arnold or Tiger or Phil. He’s not in that class. Yet.

Golf works in ebbs and flows and exists outside of major championships. Would it surprise you to learn that McIlroy has only won three professional tournaments in his extremely short career?

Rory’s no longer under the radar. He’s now under the microscope. Our fascination with greatness has turned the conversation. Let’s see how he reacts.

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