Twenty-five-year-old Rory McIlroy didn’t just accept the torch from Tiger Woods, he yanked it out of his fist. His win at the PGA Championship last week was McIlory’s second major championship win of 2014 and the fourth of his short career.

He has won four of the last 11 majors contested and the last two consecutive majors at Royal Liverpool and Valhalla.

Rory McIlroy with the Wanamaker Trophy.

Woods won five majors before he turned 26 years old. McIlroy does not turn 26 until May next year. To keep pace with Woods, he will need a win at the Masters in April and a Green Jacket would also complete a career grand slam for McIlroy.

Guess who else also won all four major championships by the age of 26? You got it, Eldrick “Tiger” Woods.

Fellow Irishmen Darren Clarke and Graeme McDowell announced the prowess of the young Rory while he was still a teenager, winning junior tournaments around the world. They saw the greatness even then and predicted lofty achievements for the lad from Holywood.

They were right.

Jack Nicklaus won four majors while still 25 years old, but did not complete his first career grand slam until he was 26, with a win in the 1966 British Open.

Bobby Jones won five majors prior to reaching 26 years of age, but didn’t finish off the career grand slam until he was 28.

With four major championships McIlroy joins a very elite group of golfers. Only 28 players have won four or more major championships in their career.

McIlroy has also won majors by large margins. He won the 2011 U.S. Open and the 2012 PGA Championship by eight shots. By comparison, Woods won the 1997 Masters by nine shots and the 2000 U.S. Open by 10 strokes.

Arnold Palmer congratulates Jack Nicklaus at the 1962 U.S. Open at Oakmont.

In 1962 Jack Nicklaus won the U.S. Open over Arnold Palmer at Oakmont and overtook Palmer as the best player in the world. Nicklaus was 10 years younger than the “King,” and it was a hard pill for “Arnie’s Army” to swallow.

McIlroy is 17 years younger than Woods, but no one expected a successor to be found that could come close to matching Woods phenomenal accomplishments this quickly.

With Woods missing the cut at Valhalla, McIlroy also had to beat another Hall of Fame member down the stretch, Phil Mickelson.

McIlroy enters a much higher category than any other golfer currently playing on the PGA Tour. His competition now becomes past champions and he must find his place in the record books beside, Jones, Hogan, Snead, Nicklaus and Woods.

We witnessed the passing of the torch from the 38-year-old Woods to a much younger and healthier, Rory McIlroy.


(This article first posted at



Mirim Lee with the Meijer LPGA Classic trophy.

Inbee Park took a one-stroke lead into the final round of the Meijer LPGA Classic on Sunday, but her one-under-par 69 was not enough to hold off LPGA Tour rookie Mirim Lee.

Lee from South Korea said in her post-round interview,

“Inbee Park is like hero in Korea, so I just long to (be) her, yeah, think I just follow her.”

With four birdies and two bogeys on her card on Sunday, Lee did not do much following.

She was able to catch Park and the two players finished the regulation 72 holes tied at 14-under-par for the tournament.

Lee said about her first LPGA Tour playoff,

“I nervous 100 percent, because first time playoff on LPGA Tour, so I’m really nervous, but very fun.”

Both Lee and Park made pars on the first playoff hole, but Lee was able to birdie the second for the win.

This was just Lee’s second top-10 finish of the year. The $225,000 first-place check gives Lee $445,000 in total earnings for the year and she moves to No. 18 in the Race to the CME Globe. If not for Lydia Ko, she would be a contender for LPGA Tour Rookie of the Year honors.

Former world No.1 Park won earlier this season at the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic and has 10 top-10 finishes this year. She is No. 4 in the Race to the CME Globe and No. 3 in the Rolex Rankings.

Blythefield Country Club proved to be a great venue for the Meijer LPGA Classic. It is a wonderful combination of rolling terrain, deep bunkering and challenging green complexes. The fairways are somewhat forgiving, but it is definitely an advantage to keep your ball on the short grass.

Larger crowds than expected streamed through the turnstiles and perfect weather made watching the best women golfers in the world a true delight for Michigan golf fans.


(This article is also posted at


LPGA Tour Rookie Giulia Molinaro Has Traveled the World to Play Golf

August 10, 2014

On Friday LPGA Tour rookie Giulia Molinaro started her second round with four birdies over her first five holes. She missed some birdie opportunities in her final 13 holes at the Blythefield Country Club, but posted a four-under par 67. She finds herself in a tie for 10th with Shanshan Feng, Gerina Pillar and Azahara [...]

Read the full article →

Rickie Fowler Satisfied With Results Thus Far in 2014

July 31, 2014

Rickie Fowler said on Wednesday that he is pleased with his progress this season and his three top-five finishes in the major championships. Fowler sought the help of famed swing guru Butch Harmon late last year and has adopted swing changes that make him more consistent under pressure. He played twice in the new fall [...]

Read the full article →

Reasons To Watch the Ricoh Women’s British Open This Week

July 9, 2014

The best women golfers from around the world will descend on Royal Birkdale this week for the Ricoh Women’s British Open. The first Women’s British Open was held in 1976 at Fulford Golf Club, but in the early years of the tournament the women found it difficult to get access to the best courses in [...]

Read the full article →

Did USGA Make Pinehurst Too Tough for the U.S. Women’s Open?

June 23, 2014

I thoroughly enjoy watching the best women golfers ply their trade every week on the LPGA Tour and I love Pinehurst. Visiting the Village of Pinehurst and soaking up the history is a truly awe-inspiring experience. With the addition of the multitude of talented young players, the depth of the LPGA Tour has exponentially increased [...]

Read the full article →

Lucy Li Missed the Cut But Made History at the U.S. Women’s Open

June 21, 2014

When I was 11 years old I was most concerned about my next little league baseball game, riding my bike really fast and how much ice cream I could eat. It appears that I have at least one thing in common with 11-year-old Lucy Li who qualified for the U.S. Women’s Open at Pinehurst this [...]

Read the full article →

Michelle Wie is Maturing at Pinehurst in the U.S. Women’s Open

June 21, 2014

Much has been made of the 22 teenagers and 11-year-old Lucy Li in the field this week at the U.S. Women’s Open. Twenty-four-year-old Michelle Wie is considered to be a grizzled veteran in the women’s game, but may just be rounding into her prime. Wie started playing competitive golf at a very young age and [...]

Read the full article →

22 Teenagers are in the Field for U.S. Women’s Open at Pinehurst

June 18, 2014

The U.S. Women’s Open will start on Thursday at Pinehurst with 22 teenagers in the 156-woman field. Lexi Thompson is 19 years old and has been a member of the LPGA since 2012. She has four wins on the LPGA Tour including her first major championship win at the 2014 Kraft Nabisco Championship earlier this [...]

Read the full article →

Phil Mickelson Brings the ‘Thrill’ Factor to the Memorial Tournament

June 2, 2014

With Tiger Woods at home nursing his ailing back, the job of bringing the star power to a PGA Tour event falls on the broad shoulders of Phil Mickelson. Yes, there are supporting men like Rory McIlroy and Adam Scott, but Phil is the guy people pay the big bucks to come and see. Golf [...]

Read the full article →