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PGA Tour CONFIDENTIAL
SENIOR WRITERS MICHAEL BAMBERGER
July 04, 2011
Is Rory McIlroy the next Tiger? Will Woods play in the British Open? Who is 2011's biggest underachiever? If you had to pick three guys for the U.S. Ryder Cup team today, who would they be? And who is going to win at Royal St. George's?
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July 04, 2011

Pga Tour Confidential

Is Rory McIlroy the next Tiger? Will Woods play in the British Open? Who is 2011's biggest underachiever? If you had to pick three guys for the U.S. Ryder Cup team today, who would they be? And who is going to win at Royal St. George's?

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Hack: Yes, but Louis Oosthuizen won the British Open by seven shots last year and Charl Schwartzel made four birdies in a row to win the Masters and we're hardly talking about them.

Van Sickle: That sounds like the Larry Nelson syndrome—winning a major is only a big deal to the public if you're a player who was supposed to win a major. Louis wasn't supposed to win a major, we thought, but Rory clearly was.

Shipnuck: Louis had not been a factor in other majors so he really was a surprise. Rory has been ramping up to this. He held the lead after 18 holes in a major, after 36, after 54 and after 63. Plus, it's even fun to say his name—Rory McIlroy. Whereas nobody can correctly pronounce or spell Oosthuizen.

Bamberger: Geoff Ogilvy told me the first time he saw Rory in person that he could sense that Rory had "golfing charisma." There's simply something about Rory. Louis doesn't have it, and Rory does. Larry Nelson and Hale Irwin and Scott Simpson didn't have it, but Payne Stewart and Phil Mickelson did.

Shipnuck: The guy has gone low at the Old Course, Augusta and the U.S. Open. He's got an all-around game. Look how long it took Ben Hogan, Watson and Phil Mickelson to win majors. Basically, it's taken Rory just over a year.

Hack: Rory is going to win a lot of majors, but to put him in the same sentence with Nicklaus and Tiger, I don't know. I see too many guys out there who can hit the shots he hits.

Shipnuck: In some ways Rory wasn't tested at the Open, but it's not easy to sleep on the lead every night. It's like boxing—you can't beat the champ on a decision, you have to knock him out. Rory knocked everybody out at Congressional.

Fall Series

Van Sickle: It's been an odd year in golf. Who have been the biggest underachievers?

Garrity: Two players who stick out are Camilo Villegas and Anthony Kim, young guys for whom I had great expectations. Kim had the thumb injury and is still struggling. I don't know what Villegas's problem is, but after that nice FedEx Cup run he had in 2009, he disappeared.

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