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LUKE VERSUS RORY
Van Sickle: We have a nice back-and-forth for Number 1 between Luke Donald and Rory McIlroy. Are you concerned that Rory is slipping or that Luke hasn't won a major championship?
Hack: Rory is an awesome and unique talent. Is he a transcendent talent? We won't know the answer for at least a decade. I'm not saying he isn't, but he has a life full of decisions to make, joys and setbacks to encounter, and moments that will mark him for better and for worse. He is still in his golfing infancy.
Shipnuck: It's such a fine line with Rory. We lament how tragically Tiger has been warped by living in a bubble, yet we're concerned that Rory is a citizen of the world, living what looks like a really fun life at the expense of his golf. I'm fine with him not playing a heavy schedule; that'll stave off burnout. The key is that when he does turn up he needs to be prepared and focused, as Tiger always was.
Hack: I was surprised to hear Rory say that he hasn't practiced as hard as he should recently. That set off alarms for me. Makes me wonder if he has enough "nasty" in him, to quote Spurs coach Gregg Popovich.
Anonymous Pro: A lot of these young guys, Rory included, have success and then they stop playing. That irritates the heck out of me. Who in their right mind takes three weeks off before the Masters? You have to play. Some of these guys play the Masters, then don't play again until the Players. The young players in our game are so spoiled. They have success and immediately start playing the Superstar Schedule—the World Golf Championships, the majors, a couple of events in China and the Middle East for appearance money, and that's it.
Van Sickle: Bubba Watson won the Masters. Does anyone know if he is still playing golf?
Anonymous Pro: Exactly. Look at Jason Dufner and Rickie Fowler. They play all the time, and guess what? They're pretty consistent. Other guys are able to make so much money off the course that they forget they need to be on the course. You're a golfer, play golf.
Bamberger: Golf is different from other sports. Golfers are cowboys at heart. They make any schedule they want. Rory is doing it his own way.
Van Sickle: After winning a playoff at Innisbrook and then dominating the BMW PGA at Wentworth, Luke looks a lot tougher than Rory right now.