US Open Golf 2011: What Win at Congressional Means for Rory McIlroy's Legacy

James EvensCorrespondent IJune 20, 2011

BETHESDA, MD - JUNE 19:  Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland poses with the trophy after his eight-stroke victory on the 18th green during the 111th U.S. Open at Congressional Country Club on June 19, 2011 in Bethesda, Maryland.  (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
Andrew Redington/Getty Images

Rory McIlroy has become a fan favorite, and for good reason.

This past weekend at the US Open, McIlroy single-handedly tore apart the field and won by eight strokes with a record-breaking score of 16 under par for the tournament.

After choking at the Masters by blowing a late Sunday lead, he proved that he is the real deal—but will this victory define his career?

While that answer is yet to be decided, to me, the answer is clear.


This major was a great performance, but it will not define his career—it will only be the spark that ignited it.

See, Rory is a young player with a bright future ahead of him—no, this did not define his career, but it is the start of great things.

If McIlroy can continue to swing like he did at the US Open, he will go down as one of the greatest players in golf. He was simply phenomenal, which leads me to the conclusion that he is not yet done winning major championships. In fact, it would be surprising if he was not the favorite to win the British Open. 

Rory's career has yet to be defined, but it will be a bright one, and this US Open will be just a chapter in the book of the storied career of the young man from Ireland.

He is here to stay, as he has proven that he has what it takes to compete in major championships and get it done.

Oddly enough, his name sounds like a tiger's roar, but is this win a wake-up call loud enough to get Tiger Woods roaring again? Who knows. We could have an epic duel on our hands as the old changes to the new over the next few years in golf. 

One thing is for sure: It is an exciting time to be a golf fan. 

James Evens serves as a National Featured Columnist for college football and basketball, as well as the FC for the Purdue Boilermakers.   Follow him on Twitter or like him on Facebook.