When he was a bright-faced 11-year-old in the close-knit community of Holywood in Northern Ireland, Rory McIlroy told the townsfolk he wanted to be the best golfer in the world one day.
Sunday, he made a huge move toward that dream, ascending to the No. 1 ranking in the world of golf.
He saw what he wanted at the Honda Classic, and he took it.
Irish Honey Badger. After all, the Honey Badger takes what he wants.
When there came a roar, it came very, very loudly from the 18th hole. An eagle roar from the glorious past, McIlroy's lead had been cut to a single shot as he stood over a birdie putt at the 13th green. He heard the roar and knew what it meant.
Honey Badger doesn't care. Irish Honey Badger ran that one in then kept on with his business.
Some guy threw a 62 at him, finishing birdie-eagle. Irish Honey Badger didn't care. There was a tournament to be won. The Honey Badger takes what he wants.
A world-class short game then went on display at the 14th, 15th and 17th holes.
That errant shot at 14 that landed in gnarly rough would have undone most. Not the Irish Honey Badger. He needed par. He took it.
Back bunker on the 15th? The Honey Badger doesn't care; he saw a par and took it. Same at the 17th.
No animals scare the Honey Badger, not even Tigers.
Honey Badger takes what he wants, and so does the Irish Honey Badger.
Someone threw the best Sunday punch they ever had, best-ever in a storied professional career that is well into its second decade. Someone threw 62 on Sunday at the Irish Honey Badger. The cobra was biting the Honey Badger.
There's a new world order in golf, and this newest No. 1 looks every bit of the role.
The previous two were lacking. One hit it too short and hadn't even won a major. The other didn't chip and putt well enough, and he didn't have a major. Something just didn't look right, really didn't.
The No. 1 of the new world order in golf hits it long, really long, has the best natural swing of any player under 25 and has a world-class short game. Putts pretty well under pressure, doesn't he?
At age 22, there's a U.S. Open on the resume.
It doesn't appear that the Irish Honey Badger will go away any time soon.
Irish Honey Badger's out to get his.
"He could have a run where he separates himself from numbers two and three," says Johnny Miller.
Who knows if Johnny's right? All we know is this new guy is pretty good, pretty unflappable.
He knows what he wants and looks pretty prepared to take it.
Irish Honey Badger.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!