Rory McIlroy: Let's Be Cautious with Tiger Woods Comparisons

John BurkeContributor IJune 27, 2011

BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 22:  US Open winning golfer Rory McIlroy poses with his trophy on a green at Holywood Golf Club on June 22, 2011 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The 22 year old golfer has returned home to his native Northern Ireland and is giving press interviews and meeting with local supporters.  (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

A little over a week ago, Rory McIlroy won the 2011 U.S. Open in historic fashion. 

He reached scores we had never seen in a U.S. Open and made a mockery of the way the USGA set up Congressional.

And after his win, McIlroy was immediately being compared to Tiger Woods. 

Hey, I don't fault those that did, even I got caught up in it all. 

McIlroy's performance reminded us all of Tiger's 2000 U.S. Open victory, the comparisons were only natural.

But now that we have all had a week or so to soak it all in, it is time we came to our senses.

McIlroy is a good player, but Woods is, well, Tiger Woods.

He is a top-two golfer of all time, with a legitimate argument for being the best ever. 

McIlroy has a long way to go before his name is mentioned in the "best to ever to play the game" conversations. 

The 22-year-old McIlroy has only three victories. The first professional win came on the European Tour, where he nearly surrendered a six-shot final round lead (sound familiar?).

His next win was at the 2010 Quail Hollow Championship on the PGA Tour. In that tournament, McIlroy shot a final round 62 to come storming from the back to nab the title. 

Obviously, his third win was at the 2011 U.S. Open. 

While three victories is still an impressive number, it is no where near Tiger's total. 

Rory McIlroy may get there eventually. He still needs 13 more majors to catch Tiger and 17 to catch Jack Nicklaus. 

In fact, I hope McIlroy does beat them both. He is a charismatic kid, whose love for the game is visible on each shot. 

But until he gets closer, the Tiger comparisons are a bit premature.