2011 Masters 3rd Round Leaderboard: Rory McIlroy Is the Next Tiger Woods
Rory McIlroy Hanging in There, Bringing Back Memories of a Young Tiger Woods
Rory McIlroy is showing he's got what it takes to win a the Masters. It is no secret that McIlroy hasn't had his best stuff today. He has already carded 2 bogeys today, twice as many as he made in the first two days. But, the 21-year old phenom remains firmly entrenched atop the leaderboard thanks to mental strength, grit and determination.
The true measure of a champion golfer is not how good they are when they are on but how well they grind when they are off. Tiger Woods has won the 1997 Masters by 12 and the 2000 US Open by a whopping 15, but his greatest victory has to be the 2008 US Open when he birdied the 18th hole to twice to stay alive against fan favorite Rocco Mediate. Woods epic 91 hole victory became all that much more impressive a few weeks later when he revealed that he had been playing on a fractured knee. Despite his injury Woods displayed mental toughness necessary to get the job done
McIlroy is not facing near as steep a challenge this week but he has shown Tiger like focus in his ability to adjust to the moment, avoid big mistakes and produce results. If he can somehow make it to the club house at even par or better I would not be surprised if he would identify this round, rather than his opening 65, as his best of the tournament. Bobby Jones used to say that golf is mostly played on a 5 inch course between your ears and McIlroy is in the process of setting that course record.
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