Chamblee: Rory can distance himself from field


It’s easier to imagine Rory McIlroy pulling away Saturday at the Masters than it is Jordan Spieth.

It’s also easier to envision McIlroy getting to 10 or more major championship victories than it is Spieth.

That was Brandel Chamblee’s take on Golf Channel’s “Live From the Masters” on Saturday. Chamblee likes how McIlroy is eliminating big misses to the left with his swing, which he says should serve him well at Augusta National, and he likes how McIlroy’s short game seems to be much better this week.

“This is a power prejudiced era unlike any other power eras,” Chamblee said. “Shorter hitters like Lee Trevino, Nick Faldo and Nick Price could get into three, four, five, six major championship [victories]. In this era, there has been no medium to short hitter get into three majors. Somebody might say Padraig Harrington, but if you look, he creeps into the top 10 in driving distance of some majors. You are left with Zach Johnson, Mike Weir, David Toms, players of this ilk. That’s where Jordan Spieth is, which is remarkable when you look at him and you think where he could go in such a power prejudiced era.

“It is much, much easier to look at Rory McIlroy and predict him getting to 10, 11, 12 major championships and maybe even further, because he has such dominating power. He has trajectory. Of course, there are benefits of being able to come into greens with shorter irons, with higher trajectory, more spin, being able to put yourself underneath the hole. I have been reluctant to go there recently with Rory, because he hasn’t been pitching well, hasn’t been putting well, but yesterday, and the day before, he was brilliant around the greens, brilliant on the greens.

“It wouldn’t surprise me if Rory put some distance between himself and the field today.”

Chamblee pointed out that Spieth and McIlroy have been paired head to head 14 times and that McIlroy is cumulatively 28 shots better than Spieth in those matchups. Spieth is 7 under, overall, when paired with McIroy, while McIlroy is 35 under.