Hunter Mahan may have won the World Golf Championships – Accenture Match Play Championship final but his opponent Rory McIlroy was the one who won the hearts of all those who were present at the final of the Match Play Championship at the Ritz Carlton Golf Club in the deserts of Arizona.
Just before the match, Mahan said to his close aides that he did not understand all the fuss about the 22 year old British golfer but his match up against him surely made him understand why he is such a popular figure already in the golfing world.
Mahan listened to the crowd present on the greens chanting his name and as he learnt with his experience after playing against him, the chants will only get louder and louder over time. According to Hunter Mahan, there is something unbelievable about the man who has been termed as the Boy Wonder and even Mahan agrees that he will someday become the world number one.
Moreover, speaking at the press conference after the match, Mahan added that he has no doubts that Rory McIlroy will become the world number one golfer but he did not want that to happen against him. He praised the youngster regarding all that he has achieved at this young age and also praised how far he has come since the last time they played against one another almost three years back now.
McIlroy needed to win the match against Mahan in the Match play Championship to become Luke Donald as the number one player in the world but that seems to be almost inevitable now with Rory McIlroy only needing to progress a round beyond Luke Donald to overtake him as the number one ranked golfer in the world and it seems to be just a matter of time.
World No. 3 Rory McIlroy is a promising 22 year old golfer whose talent for the game and his frankness with the questions has made people sit up and notice him. He is being regarded as the next big thing in the golfing circuit.
McIlroy has been playing superbly since he went pro. He won the US Open with a beautiful eight-stroke win, which prompted Tiger Woods to personally congratulate him on the win. McIlroy made the US Open look like an easy tournament, carving out a place in the top with a round of 65, six under par.
Playing against American Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson, McIlroy looked like a complete professional rather than a young golfer. He remained calm and composed, avoiding bogeys and maintaining his birdies. He had six birdies in total. McIlroy had experiences where he had a two-shot or four-shot lead only to give with away by shooting 80 the very next day and giving up his chances of winning. He did this at the Masters, 2011 and the Open’s Championship last year. Instead of letting these embarrassing and difficult loses to adversely affect him, Rory McIlroy has emerged out of it stronger and better.
The loss at the Masters in Augusta, McIlroy believes is the most painful experience of his life and he was frank enough to admit that he felt embarrassed and humiliated by his poor stroke and was close to tears. What is great about this young player is that he is candid about his feelings and could rise up above his fears and silences the ghost of the Masters, with an astounding win at the US Open in Congressional Country Club, finishing the final day with a fair lead.
This win, ensured Rory McIlroy to end the year with a place in the Queen’s New Years honours list, and winning the MBE.