If you were in any doubt as to who the best golfer is in the world at present, the last two majors and one World Golf Championship event have made it abundantly clear.

Rory McIlroy is back and looking better than ever as the picture below clearly illustrates.


Yet it hasn’t always been plain sailing for Rory this season. After being ranked number 1 in the World at the WGC Cadillac Championship in 2013, McIlroy’s ranking dropped steadily down until after the Masters, he was ranked 10th in the World.

It was then that Rory split from his girlfriend (and then fiancé) Caroline Wozniacki after a three-year romance, during which Rory won six tournaments (including one major) but saw his ranking plummet from 1st to 10th.

McIlroy’s decision to call off the engagement when he had an awakening that he wasn’t ready for the commitment as they were sending invites out may have been a surprise. It certainly took its toll on the Irishman and the young tennis star who both acutely felt the effects of the split.


Following the Masters, Rory dropped out of the Worlds top 10 after an 8th place finish at the Wells Fargo Championship, but a tied 6th place finish at The Players Championship saw him edge back inside the top ten.

Since then, other than the Irish Open, McIlroy has found his best form.  In May he won his first event of 2014, the BMW Championship, which saw his ranking improve to sixth, there then followed a period of indifferent form where he finished 15th (Memorial Tournament), 23rd (US Open), missed the cut at the Irish Open and then finished tied 14th at the Scottish Open.


However, throughout this time, McIlroy’s demeanour had changed. As he gained better control of his emotions following the split, he invested the extra time in his game and he often stated in interviews following these events that his game was coming back better than ever.


Rory’s problems seemed to be exacerbated by “second round” syndrome, where after good initial opening round on Thursday, Rory would shoot himself in the foot by posting a miserable round on Friday, pushing him well out of contention.

So when Rory began the 143rd Open Championship at Hoylake in July in great shape, many expected the Irishman to be blown off course on the Friday as had happened in the past.


It didn’t happen, instead Rory charged to victory, winning by two shots over Rickie Fowler and Sergio Garcia. After receiving his first Claret Jug and becoming only the second golfer (after Tiger Woods) to win the Gold and Silver Medals at The Open, Rory took a week off.

He returned to action at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational after a fantastic final round 66 blew away his playing partner Sergio Garcia and lifted him to a two-shot victory. That win propelled Rory to World Number 1 once again and set the scene for the USPGA at Valhalla.



Once again McIlroy led from the front but this time in his final round, a posse of top players were poised to snatch the crown as McIlroy stuttered on the opening nine holes of his final round. At one point, the Irishman lay two shots off the lead.

That changed with arguably one of his greatest ever shots. At the par-5 10th hole, McIlroy hit a magnificent fairway wood to the heart of the green, then sunk the Eagle putt to bring him right back into contention and a share of the lead.


As his opponents struggled on the back nine to keep pace, McIlroy found birdies at crucial times to take the lead and a one shot victory from Phil Mickelson.

It was therefore three in a row for the Irishman and rich reward for the sacrifices he made earlier in the year. Even when the presenter of the trophy had a slight accident upon presenting it to Rory, the Irishman was there to save the day!



After winning the PGA, Jack Nicklaus commented “Rory is an unbelievable talent. I think Rory has an opportunity to win 15 or 20 majors, or whatever he wants to do if he wants to keep playing.”

Rory is now ¾ of the way towards a personal Grand Slam. Eight months away lies Augusta, the course most experts feel best suits McIlroy’s game and a place where the Irishman needs to exorcise a few of his own demons.


Can the Irishman complete his own Tiger-slam by winning at Augusta and then following that up with US Open success to hold all four majors at once?

He’s already half way there and given his remarkable recent form, few would bet against him going very close of even achieving it.


Images Courtesy of Rory McIlroy’s Official Facebook Page


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