In this somewhat rambling video I take a look at Rory’s pre-shot routine and try to dispel the popular notion that he “just gets up and hits it” in some sort of child-like, non-thinking manner. That is hardly the case as he takes exactly the same amount of time to hit the ball as did Louis Oostheuzin in his British Open win and as did Charl Schwartzel in his Masters victory. It has also been reported that McIlroy has trouble flighting the ball in the wind, a notion he somewhat dispelled at the Honda as he navigated blustery winds in the last round with a variety of cut-off swings to hold on for the win. And as surprising as it may seem given the hysteria over his ball striking prowess McIlroy actually led the field in putts gained, bunker play and scrambling, and certainly would not have beaten Tiger or Tom Gillis had he not gotten it up and down from all over the place on Sunday. He will be a formidable opponent indeed should he match up his brilliant hitting with the kind of game he displayed around the greens. Indeed, such a combination has not been seen since the heyday of one Tiger Woods.
And speaking of Tiger, here we see that his swing is really coming around as his hands finally begin to track outward toward the ball starting the downswing instead of moving straight down. A good friend of mine who used to play the tour knows Brandt Jobe quite well, and when he asked Jobe how it was playing with Tiger on Sunday Jobe replied that he “would just like to hit it like that”, meaning that Tiger’s control of the ball in the wind was impeccable while bombing it off the tee as well. If you think about it each time Tiger has reworked his swing it has taken about this long for it to gel, and if you add in the time lost due to injury and the assorted personal issues he is about overdue to begin playing Tiger like golf again. It may take McIlroy firing on all cylinders to keep Tiger from regaining his perch at #1. It will surely be a fun year to watch golf.