Rory McIlroy can be bigger than Tiger

Jan 9, 2009
Masters 2009: Rory McIlroy can be bigger than Tiger Woods, says Gary Player

By Emily Benammar 12 Apr 2009

[url] /Masters-2009-Rory-McIlroy-can-be-bigger-than-Tiger-Woods-sa ys-Gary-Player.html[/url]

Gary Player has tipped Northern Irish teenager Rory McIlroy to topple Tiger Woods as the best player in the world.

The 73-year-old, who made a record 52nd and final appearance at the Masters this week, described McIlroy's swing as "unbelievable" and even better than Woods.

"Rory McIlroy, if he goes about it and is managed correctly, could turn out to be the best player in the world in his time," said Player.

"This young man is brilliant. His golf swing is unbelievable and his theory side, his swing, is better than Tiger Woods'.

"But will he have the body of Tiger Woods? Will this young man go to the gym at six o'clock in the morning? I donÂÂ￾ft know. Will he have the intensity and all the other things that Tiger has? I donÂÂ￾ft know.

"He's an incredible talent and has excelled already at a very young age. I believe he's a very nice young man too and I hope he goes from strength to strength."

McIlroy's debut at the Masters has brought him under a bright media spotlight. Aside from his impressive form at such a young age, the 19-year-old grabbed headlines after the second round when he was faced with the prospect of being disqualified.

Having failed to get out of a bunker near the 18th, McIlroy kicked the sand. His actions led to an inquiry being launched and questions were raised over whether McIlroy had illegally tested the sand before playing his second shot.

After four hours a statement was issued saying he was not being penalised.

When asked about the incident, McIlroy said: "I didn't feel I had done anything wrong or anything to violate the rules so I was very certain no action would be taken.

"I played my bunker shot, didn't get it out of the bunker. I played my next shot over the green and three-putted for a seven.

"I didnÂÂ￾ft even think about what I did until (competition committee chairman) Fred Ridley rang me to tell me what had happened and what he had seen on tape.

"I said to them I hit my shot and it was a natural instinct for me after I have hit a bunker shot to smooth out my footprints.

"I didnÂÂ￾ft kick it. It was more of a sweep and I didn't feel I did anything wrong. I thought it was handled very well."

McIlroy tees off the fourth and final day at 4.45 pm (BST) alongside Briton Luke Donald.


Nov 23, 2008
StarWars said:
He may be better but I doubt he will get the publicity Tiger has.
Same here. Unless he starts winning let's say, 6-8 Majors, a few years after he turns pro. Until he pulls that off, he's pretty much a long shot.

Don Wassall

Staff member
Sep 30, 2004
He's an amazingly talented and mature 19. Unfortunately, he's also: 1.) White, and; 2.) not American, so while he will get perfunctory media acknowledgement, unless he somehow is as dominating on the PGA Tour as David Duval was a decade ago, he will be for the most part ignored no matter how well he does on the European Tour.
Jan 9, 2009
Notice how it takes someone like Gary Player to draw attention to an upcoming young White player. Being a White South African he probably has some resistance to the caste sporting orthodoxy that Whites will make way for Blacks in all sports.