US Open 2011 – the analysis

News & Tour

Rory bounces back in style from Masters agony as the US Open proves very playable

Rory roars back
BORING. Really boring. And that is about the highest compliment you can pay Rory McIlroy for his decimation of the field at the US Open. The weekend was, in hindsight, a procession, although most of us were not taking anything for granted until late on Sunday given what had happened at Augusta just two months earlier.
We needn’t have worried – boy had become man.
The 22-year-old was less concerned with hanging on to his huge lead than sending out a Tiger Woods-esque message of intimidation to the world of golf. 
Within minutes of the final putt being holed, the Northern Irishman was talking of Congressional being the scene of his first Major. Do not think for a minute that McIlroy is now fulfilled.
In the first 146 years of Major championship golf, Ireland won one title. Thanks to Padraig Harrington, Graeme McDowell and now McIlroy, five more have arrived since 2007.
Within minutes of the final putt being holed, he was talking of Congressional being the scene of his first Major. Do not think for a minute that McIlroy is now fulfilled. McDowell admits to weight on shoulders
IT was interesting to hear Graeme McDowell talk to Sky Sports at the conclusion of the event about how he needed to “move on” from his own US Open win.
As his great friend Rory McIlroy was moving serenely to a first Major 12 months after McDowell won his, the Ulsterman’s thoughts were illuminating.
Because since winning at Pebble Beach, ‘G-Mac’ has holed the winning putt to regain the Ryder Cup and gone head to head with Tiger in his own event. Hardly crisis material.
And yet clearly he feels he has dropped a level. His 2011 to date has not been stellar and marked by a couple of poor final rounds.
He may well be the kind of player who goes through steep highs and dark lows, all the while remaining one of the most likeable men on tour.
What is especially relevant is that he will be able to endow some of his knowledge of post-US Open mindset to ‘Rors’ and no doubt help his young friend cope.
Will McIlroy be talking of needing to move on in 12 months’ time? Few would say so now. He may well have another Major under his belt by then…

Par and the US Open
THE stated goal of the governing body of the US Open is for par to be the winning score. 
In recent years, though, the USGA have often erred on the side of caution.
Ogilvy and Cabrera were both +5 while Woods and Mediate finished at -1 in 2008 at Torrey Pines. Glover was a remarkable -4 in winning at Bethpage two years ago while McDowell posted even par last year at Pebble Beach, as did Campbell at Pinehurst in ‘05.
The lowest score in relation to par came in 2000 at Pebble, when Woods was  12 under. A touch of perspective – Ernie Els and Miguel Angel Jimenez were second… 15 shots behind.

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