Golf Monthly editor-at-large Bill Elliott gives on Rory McIlroy's outstanding Open Championship victory at Royal Liverpool Golf Club at Hoylake
SO he did it. Not sprinting away, not quite cantering towards glory but safely enough.
Rory McIlroy is many things. He is as honest as a young man under constant scrutiny can be; he is a decent guy; he respects his parents and most other people; he is probably the rightful heir to most of the world that Tiger Woods seems to have relinquished. At least for now.
Going into the final round of The Open might seem to make this contrary, old game easy-peasy but in reality it never is like that and as Sergio Garcia and Rickie Fowler offered opposition on Royal Liverpool’s grand jousting field, McIlroy had to knuckle down and graft as he tried to shore up a barricade that at one midway point seemed to be crumbling like the sand bordering the Dee Estuary here on The Wirral.
That he succeeded says much about his nerve as well as his game. That Fowler and Garcia made him sweat at least a little says much about their own ambition. That they are all hovering around the 5ft 9ins mark comes as a relief to those of us who argued that golf was not solely a game for tall, finely honed athletes.
I’ll think more about all this for the magazine but for now congratulations to Northern Ireland’s finest sportsman since Georgie Best and the same good wishes to Royal Liverpool and the people of the North West of England. Together they made this a wonderful week, a terrific course and a great sporting crowd. Toodlepip.