Home Sports PGA hero Rory McIlroy makes good start at US Open

PGA hero Rory McIlroy makes good start at US Open

Rory McIroy shot a 67 in the opening round of the US Open.

Rory McIroy shot a 67 in the opening round of the US Open.
Image† Getty Images

Rory McIlroy has never been bad — not even close — but he’s lost his grip on greatness (or at least how the sport has chosen to define the word) in the eight years since he last won a major tournament. . He has enjoyed continued success in the Tour, with consistent victories and high positions in the World Golf Ranking, but a real return to glory has eluded him. This weekend has the potential to change that.

After a big win at the RBC Canadian Open last weekend, the four-time major champion (his best Masters finish is 2nd), once hailed as the next Tiger Woods, may have finally found the fire he’s been looking for to get him back. the edge again. After winning four majors by age 25 and joining only Jack Nicklaus and Woods in such a feat, he struggled to maintain that level.

But in an interesting twist, LIV Golf may finally be the answer to his prayers.

From his comments last weekend about the first LIV tournament in London (“what they’re doing there really means raising a ton of money”) to his constant critical remarks about the new tour and those the PGA is trying to get the money from the Taking on Saudis (“it feels like taking the easy road”), it seems McIlroy has found a motivating factor. It’s a classic case of good versus evil, and he has written himself as one of the heroes of this story. The “good guys” must beat the “bad guys” to prove they were wrong by leaving the PGA and defecting to LIV to win this showdown at the US Open, held at The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts, to to show the world that the PGA is still the elite tour and the only “correct” way to play the game of golf.

McIlroy shot an opening round 67 yesterday and showed some real emotion in his frustration with a bad bunker shot. With all the talk of meaningfulness, this head-to-head showdown on the same course as the LIV golfers, sports movie style, must mean a lot to Rory.

Does it matter if an LIV golfer wins this over a PGA golfer? Or if a PGA golfer, who has not spoken out in any way, wins one of the more outspoken anti-LIV advocates? It could be – a story definitely needs to be written here, especially when you consider the… Ride Survive Style Netflix show being made this season that will follow select golfers along the PGA Tour – several of whom have reportedly now been suspended for their involvement with LIV.

But it almost certainly matters to McIlroy, who made LIV the… villains and, perhaps unconsciously, he placed himself in this story as the face of the opposition, the protagonist of the PGA. After last weekend’s RBC Open, he placed himself as a direct defender for Dustin Johnson, who left his sponsor in their titular tournament to play in the inaugural LIV event.

You can win as many tournaments as you want on whichever tour you play, but realistically, the main subjects its the real battlefield – it’s what people watch, it’s what people remember, and right now it’s the only way to get a decisive, symbolic victory for the PGA on LIV. And as icing on the cake, McIlroy will find himself back in the lap of his sport’s elite for the first time in nearly a decade with a fifth major.

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