His win at the 2011 US Open broke the tournament scoring record. At age 22, he was the youngest winner since Bobby Jones almost 100 years prior. McIlroy hit a record 62 greens in regulation in an amazing ball striking display.
He had had shown glimpses of this ability before. His scorching final round 62 to win at Quail Hollow in 2010 forced Phil Mickelson to shake his head. He fired a record 63 at the British Open. He had three rounds in the 60s but lost any chance of winning due to horrific second round conditions. McIlroy was in contention at the 2010 PGA Championship, but couldn't sink big putts in the final round.
The 2011 Masters looked like the culmination, but it turned into a disaster on Sunday. McIlroy shot an 80 after entering with a four-stroke lead. It was the kind of loss that could derail a career, but McIlroy insisted it was a learning experience. Clearly he was correct, as he burned the competition by 8 strokes in the very next major.
It is clear that McIlroy has the potential to be a golf legend. However, Greg Norman and Phil Mickelson also had this talent. Hall of Famers they are, but they are not on the highest pedestal of golfers. They both worked hard but neglected critical aspects that could have put them over the top.
Norman admitted this when he appeared as a guest on David Feherty's program. He wished that he had used a sports psychologist. Mickelson needed to develop a go-to tee shot and he never fixed his forward press in the putting stroke until switching to the belly putter this year.
Here are five things Rory McIlroy must do to become a legend of golf.