The Pretend Phenom
Rory McIlroy chokes like Tiger Woods never would: He's no Tiger now, never willbe
Even before Rory McIlroy hit a cabin and a creek, even before the young Irishman choked with the green jacket in his grasp like no one since Greg Norman and started three putting everything, the comparison loomed ridiculous.
McIlroy could have won the Masters at age 21 and he still wouldn't have been close to the "next" Tiger Woods. Doing it at a young age was never what defined Tiger at his greatest. No, it was all about dominance.
It was all about seizing a tournament at its throat — rather than letting the pressure choke you — and steadily stomping the will out of the competition.
McIlroy never had that. Never came close. Never will.
Now that he's thrown up all over himself at Augusta like Anna Faris in Observe and Report, it's clear that McIlory will now have to be very lucky — and rebuilt mentally — to even have the excellent career of a Phil Mickelson. Let alone a Tiger Woods.
There will be no next Tiger Woods. Not now. Not ever. The rush to try and coronate another is both natural and completely absurd. You will never see another Tiger in golf, just like you will never see another Bill Russell in basketball or another Barry Sanders running the football.
Tiger doesn't win every major, especially now when he's still trying to rebuild himself after the self-induced invincibility crash. But he never ever chokes. Not to the over-the-top degree that mentally weak golfers like McIlroy do. He'll miss putts. But he'll never completely fall apart like a whimpering boy. Like McIlroy.
Tiger's still capable of putting up a five-under 31 on the front nine of a Masters Sunday. He'll still break Jack Nicklaus' majors record before it's all said and done.
McIlroy? He's a 21-year-old kid who will be fortunate if he wins four majors before the sun sets on his golf career.