June 18, 2011
All weekend, Shane Bacon will be out at Congressional, thanks to the fine people at Lexus (buy a Lexus ... and buy Jay one as well!). He will be reporting from the course (on crutches), so check back on both Saturday and Sunday.
BETHESDA, Md. -- There is no other story at Congressional Country Club than Rory McIlroy. None.
One of my favorite things I've heard so far is that McIlroy has already passed the winning score, so if he can just hold on, he'll have his first major. And if he finally does, what does it mean for him? How good can the kid really be?
I think it is tournaments like this that really show us that McIlroy is the talent we've been waiting for, and if I had to name one golfer in the world that I could see winning the career Grand Slam right now that still hasn't won a major, it would be Rory. The reason is because of days like Thursday and Friday, when he plays a major championship-style golf course like he's hitting balls off astroturf at the local double-decker driving range.
A lot of guys have leads in majors, but not a lot of guys have big leads in multiple majors. He did it at Augusta, and forget about his collapse for a minute and just focus on what exactly he was able to accomplish. This is a kid that spent three days sleeping on the Masters lead and for two of those, came out and controlled his game. Sure, we all know he has to win to get the proper credit, but that isn't something we should be shaking our head out.
My thoughts on McIlroy? I think today is his Sunday at Augusta, and if he can hold it together this Saturday, and post something around 70 or 71, he will cruise to this U.S. Open victory. That would mean that in the last four major championships, Rory has held the lead at some point, and won one of them, and I believe the confidence he'd gain from something like this would really go a long way.
We know he's nervous. We know the Masters isn't totally out of his head. But this is a six or seven time major winner in my mind trying to break that initial tape so he can start finding trophy room for the pieces of hardware that matter.
Every major is history in the making, but for the real history, the kind that will help us remember certain golfers 100 or 200 years from now, we need to take note. Don't turn away just yet. This is going to be special.