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Roaring Rory is Back

Wednesday, March 20, 2019
 rory mcilroy

Former Reuters golf correspondent Tony Jimenez spoke to Tony about last week's Players Championship in Florida:

"Rory McIlroy's victory at Sawgrass will really send his confidence soaring ahead of next month's Masters and, after that performance, he's now got to be rated the favourite for Augusta.

It was a dominant performance. He has started the season in top form and it's nice to see him rewarded for his consistency.

Rory drives the ball better than anyone else and it sets the rest of his game up. He almost made it look easy last week. He didn't seem to make a whole host of putts, he knocked in the odd one here and there, but when you can drive it the way he did, it doesn't half make things easier.

He's so tough to beat when he drives the ball like that and when his putter is working. I was happy for him. He's a good, considerate man, great for the game, great with the press and a helluva talent.

I can see Rory winning more than one Major this year if he keeps this form going. It would be nice to see him win the Masters. He's owed that one really after what has happened to him down the years at Augusta and, of course, it would complete the set of Majors for him.

He's got a tremendous swing that creates enormous club-head speed and he recognised long ago that is what you need at the highest level. He also realises that you don't move anything in the swing that doesn't need to move. The fewer moving parts you have the better.

I also particularly liked the way he owned up to not being completely happy with his ball-striking in the third round. He then went out, on his own, without a coach, to the practice range and spent hours trying to figure it all out. I like players to be self-sufficient like that. It's always better to figure it out for yourself as much as possible.

From a British viewpoint, it is heartening to see Rory, Tommy Fleetwood, Eddie Pepperell, Justin Rose and Matt Fitzpatrick doing so well out here in America. We've got a handful of guys in the top bracket now, world-class, and I'm not sure we've ever had as many before. They'll all be focusing on the PGA Tour, I imagine, and that can only benefit their golf games. This is the place to be. There's nothing not to like. The fans turn out in big numbers, the weather and the fields are great and the prize money is fantastic.

Sawgrass, though, is not quite so fantastic, in my humble opinion. I don't like the layout and I hate that kind of golf simply because of the amount of disasters that can happen. I don't think it's a fair golf course.

Look at the seven that Tiger Woods took at the 17th on the second day. That quadruple bogey completely derailed him. I think he was seven-under at the time and was on a roll. Who knows what he could have accomplished without that.

He missed his shot by a couple of inches, basically, and it cost him big time. Call me a dinosaur if you want but that hole belongs in Disneyworld as far as I'm concerned.

People call it one of the great par-threes in golf but it's not for me. Give me the Postage Stamp at Troon or the Redan at North Berwick any day. That's reality for me. I'm a purist. I prefer links courses. The old architects from way back didn't like water hazards.

I understand that holes like the 17th at Sawgrass bring excitement but, to me, being a foot short off the tee or an inch or two long means you are facing golfing disaster.

It's like playing Russian Roulette. Sooner or later you are going to post a big number. Sure, it's entertaining to watch, but it's not the way I think the game should be played. Suffice to say I'm glad they don't play at Sawgrass every week."