DUBLIN, OHIO—A player once said that the PGA Tour is in good hands with the young guys, but the question is which young player and when will he begin producing wins.
Rory McIlroy is not only the face of the European Tour, but also the PGA Tour, even if the Ulsterman is not a member of the U.S. circuit.
When McIlroy shot a 6-under 66 in Thursday’s opening round of The Memorial, the 21-year-old was making a small, but positive statement. When he shot an ever-par 72 in Friday’s second round, he may have also been making a statement, just not exactly the one anyone expects.
“I felt as if I played good enough to shoot something in the 60s but I just made too many mistakes out there,” McIlroy said. “I made two bogeys on the front nine from the middle of the fairway with a 9‑iron and a sand wedge in my hand. You just can’t do that sort of stuff.“
We all agree that a player cannot be the face of golf and make such mistakes. But this is what golf is currently facing. Are these young players, like McIlroy, really as good as we think they are? Or are they just a group of players that we prop up in hopes they will be that good, but ultimately will disappoint us?
Tiger Woods is gone, and we desperately hope that a young player will take advantage and make a move. McIlroy could be the answer, but the young Irishman will need to learn how to take advantage of a 9-iron or sand wedge from the middle of the fairway.
“I just need to, as I said, just limit those mistakes,” McIlroy said. “If I can keep the silly bogeys off the card, I think I’ll be all right.”