Rory McIlroy has sure made his presence known in the last couple of years on the PGA tour. He is already being anointed the heir apparent to Tiger Woods. Is Rory a great young player? Absolutely. Does he have the skill and personality to dominate golf’s world stage for the next decade? Yes. The next Tiger Woods? Let’s not jump in the deep end just yet.
Rory is only 23 years old and has a long career ahead of him. At his age he has already won six PGA Tour events, had 22 top-10 and 31 top-25 finishes and amassed over $13 Million in purse earnings. The previous stats do not even include his other seven victories off of US soil. He has already won two Majors; the 2011 US Open and the 2012 PGA Championship. That is an impressive career line let alone a line for someone only 23 years old. Have we seen something like this before in someone’s first five years as a pro? What is that guy’s name? Oh that’s right, it’s Tiger Woods.
In Tiger’s first five years as a pro he had 24 PGA tour victories and five Major Championships. You could argue Tiger was more polished when he turned prop having gone to Stanford and honed his game but that does not discount what he did. Tiger was also in the midst of one of the most impressive runs during any professional golfer’s career ever. In a four year span he won 27 tournaments and seven Majors.
While Rory’s beginnings are quite impressive he has a lot of work to do to become the “Next Tiger Woods.” The reason is there will never be another Tiger Woods like there will never be another Jack Nicklaus. They’re simply the two best players to ever put a tee in the ground, period! Could there be an “Era of Rory?” Sure, but never another Tiger. (Look for an upcoming article soon analyzing Tiger Woods social and economic impacts on the game of golf).
Rory is now committing to a full-time PGA Tour schedule so we will see what numbers he puts up. He could put up some insane lines over the next decade but it is a long way to 100 wins. Only time will tell how good he can become. To say Rory is the next Tiger is not fair to Rory or Tiger. There is simply Tiger and Rory. They can coexist and if both play at the high level they are capable we should be in for a special few years.