Rory McIlroy vs. Luke Donald: Why Rory McIlroy Is the Long Term No. 1

Daniel ZhuContributor IMarch 14, 2012

MIAMI, FL - MARCH 08:  (L-R) Luke Donald of England and Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland watch a shot on the tenth tee during first round of the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship on the TPC Blue Monster at Doral Golf Resort And Spa on March 8, 2012 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Scott Halleran/Getty Images

Rory McIlroy vs Luke Donald.

Now that's an interesting rivalry. 

The 22-year-old McIlroy is definitely one of the best young guns that the golfing world has ever seen.

He captured his first major victory at the 2011 U.S. Open, where he steamrolled through the rest of the field and won by eight shots.

This year, the young superstar has finished in the top-5 in every single start he's made, and recently ascended to World No. 1 with his victory at the Honda Classic. His solid third place finish at the Cadillac Championship, earlier this week,  also shows what an all-around player he is.

It seems that as the years go by, McIlroy's game continues to improve, and this year, he's put on his best showing of golf that only a few could rival.

Luke Donald on the other hand, after a dominant 2011 season, has faded himself back to World No. 2 after McIlroy dethroned him.

Coming off a brilliant 2011 season with both money titles on the PGA and European Tour, four victories in both Tours and the PGA Tour Player of the Year Award there hasn't been much but standing ovation for Donald.

However, with his sluggish start early in 2012, some fans are starting to question his position on the top, or even near the top.

Donald finished in 48th place at his 2012 debut in Abu Dhabi, and then got knocked out in the first round of the WGC Accenture Match Play Championship. He finally seemed to put the pieces together at the WGC Cadillac Championship, where he finished tied for sixth.

It seems to me, that McIlroy has the better chance of holding on to the World No. 1 position. He's basically got all cylinders firing every week, and maintains that consistency all year long.

Donald on the other hand, seems to have periods where he struggles, and fades away from contention, before turning his game back on.

So let me put it this way.

When Donald is struggling, McIlroy is playing great golf, but when Donald starts playing better golf, McIlroy is still unflappable. 

Thus, Mcilroy's long term consistency should give him the overall advantage to help him hold onto his World No. 1 ranking.


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