A few months back, when 20-year-old Rory McIlroy finished 15-under and dominated the Quail Hollow Championship, we talked less about his golf game and more about his better half. Holly Sweeney, who is Rory McIlroy’s girlfriend, is certainly worthy of the attention. However, now that McIlroy has set an opening round British Open record by shooting a 9-under 63, it’s probably important to remind you that we’re in the process of witnessing something special.
McIlroy’s Quail Hollow performance made him the youngest PGA Tour winner since Tiger Woods. When he shot a 63 at the British Open, he became only the eighth player to do so in one of the four major tournaments. The last golfer to do it was — you guessed it — Tiger Woods at the PGA Championship in 2007. Picking up on any kind of a pattern here?
The now 21-year-old from Northern Ireland registered an eagle on the ninth after driving the green from 352 yards out and sinking his putt. He then went on to birdie six holes and shoot a 30 on the back nine, which tied a tournament record.
I didn’t get off to a flying start,” McIlroy said. “The eagle on 9 really sort of turned things around for me, and I just got going from there. It was great to get into the rhythm of the round and get into a flow. And yeah, it was a very pleasant round of golf.”
With Tiger Woods facing more questions about his personal life than his golf swing lately, we’d do well to turn our attention to a young, hungry golfer like McIlroy. He’s got a real chance to emerge as one of the top golfers in the game at a young age — the same way Tiger began his climb to the top. The difference with McIlroy is it’s all about golf right now and he looks as confident as Phil, Vijay, or any other pro who’s been on the Tour for years.
All we can do now is sit back, enjoy the Open, and cross our fingers that a potentially great story doesn’t end with Holly getting custody and a $750 million settlement. Oh, and here are those Holly Sweeney pictures again in case there are some of you I couldn’t sell on the golf. You didn’t think I’d forget, did you?
McIlroy ties major record with opening 63 [Fox Sports/AP]