McIlroy: Golf ready for a 'dominant player' to step up


HUMBLE, Texas – The game’s No. 1-ranked player is sidelined with injury.

Adam Scott, Henrik Stenson, Phil Mickelson and Rory McIlroy are winless.

Each of the four winners on the Florida swing was ranked outside the top 40 in the world.

“Golf in general is very wide open at the moment,” McIlroy said Wednesday at the Shell Houston Open.

But with Tiger Woods out indefinitely after back surgery, the PGA Tour could use a boost of star power. Many consider McIlroy, with two majors at age 24, to be the heir apparent, and he said Wednesday that a few players – himself included – need to assume the throne in Woods’ absence.   

“It’s almost like golf is waiting for someone to stamp their authority on the game and be that dominant player,” he said. “ … I think a few guys need to put their hand up and try and be the dominant players in this game because that’s what people like to see. It’s great for the sport to have people who are up there week-in, week-out that win tournaments, and then that creates rivalries, and that’s something we haven’t really had in golf for a couple of years.”

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“It would be nice to see someone sort of break away,” he continued, before adding with a smile: “I hope it’s me.”

Next week’s Masters will be the first without Woods since 1994. McIlroy said his absence will “definitely affect the sport.”

“Golf is always better when Tiger Woods is in the conversation,” McIlroy said.