A year from now, nobody will remember that Rory McIlroy shot an opening round 70 at the PGA Championship. They won't remember his round, or his Oakley shirt, or the fact that he beat all the other major championship winners in his group.
What people will remember is for the first time in a long time, a golfer was tough. Not tough in the sense that they could handle the round, but tough in the sense that they did something they shouldn't have, and kept playing when they had no reason being out there.
If you haven't seen the video of McIlroy, have at it, but I'm warning you, it isn't pretty. Rory went after a 7-iron left of the 3rd hole fairway with a tree root in front of his ball, thinking if he caught it cleanly enough, the ball would pop back in the fairway, he could pitch it on the green and hopefully walk away with a nice little par. Thing is, the root was closer to his ball, he smashed into the root, breaking his club and nearly breaking his wrist.
He spent the rest of the day wincing as he walked, holding onto every follow-through with one hand and being in general pain, but never stopping his goal of taking home another major championship. Why? Because he said this was his last major of the year, and as we've seen with Tiger Woods, guys with legacy on their mind understand just how important it is to play in the big four when you've got your A game.
Rory said after his round that he toughed it out because, "The Masters is in, what, six or seven months," showing that he really only cares about the majors, as he should. The U.S. Open champion could have walked away and nobody would have been mad, but he didn't, and after getting his wrist wrapped twice, he gutted it out, and now sits seven shots back of Steve Stricker after day one.
McIlroy showed that despite all the things that have been said over the last month about him, he really does love the game, and really does want to win. For a kid with this much talent, that's really all that matters.
Update: Following his round, Rory McIlroy was whisked away in a courtesy car to the hospital, where doctors diagnosed him with a strained tendon in his right wrist. As a spokesman for his management company said, there's still no word on whether he'll play or withdraw from the tournament.
"He will obviously rest it tonight and he will see how it feels in the morning on the range," a spokesman said in a statement.
The Ulsterman is set to tee off on Friday morning at 8:35 a.m. EST.
Other popular stories on Yahoo! Sports:
• NFL player's sneaky pursuit for good food
• Tiger Woods plans on winning the next 15 straight majors
• Teen footballer practices in extreme heat without water for Ramadan