Lets start with Rory Mcllroy. At age 20, he's been called the next Tiger but hasn't been playing great as of late....until Saturday at Quail Hollow. After making the cut on the number at plus one, he shot 16 under on the weekend to win by four shots over Masters champion Phil Mickelson.
He shot 66 / 62 on the weekend with a final round back nine of 30 which included six straight threes to end the round. He made a sick eagle at 15, stuck a seven iron from the fairway bunker to five feet on 16 to make birdie, and then nearly made a 50 footer on the very difficult par-3 17th. At 18, to top it all off, he drained a 40 footer (picture above) to finish in style.
Supposedly, Mcllroy as been working with Bob Rotella on the mental game and how to close out tournaments. I'd say it worked. I'd say I might actually have to read one of Rotella's books and see what the keys are.
It will be interesting to see how he does this week at the Players.
Ryo Ishikawa, age 18, and another next Tiger, shot a 58 to set a record for lowest score on a major tour. He made 12 birdies and no bogeys to win The Crowns in Japan.
He broke the previous Japan Tour record of 59 held by Masahiro Kuramoto. As for the PGA Tour, David Duval, Chip Beck, and Al Geiberger have each shot 59. Annika Soremstam holds the LPGA record with a 59 while Shigeki Maruyama shot a 13 under par 58 in the 2000 U.S. Open qualifier.
It's not quite yet the changing of the guard in professional golf, but with Mcllroy, Ishikawa, AK, and Fowler playing well, the time is getting closer.
We'll see how long it takes Tiger to get his act together again and fend off these guys.
Mcllroy photo / AP - Gerry Broome
Ishikawa photo / AP - Kyodo News