Tim Rosaforte - July 19, 2012

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Two young players who have a number of things in common are Rickie Fowler and Rory McIlroy. It is interesting how they are very different in background but have had very similar trend lines in their careers. Fowler has said that McIlroy motivates him to get better and he has finished in the top 15 in both of his Open Championship appearances. While Fowler has played very well, McIlroy’s Open Championship experience has been more varied.

Fowler decided to take a month off following the U.S. Open before playing in The Open Championship. He came to Royal Lytham ready to play and even participated in a money game with Phil Mickelson during a practice round. Fowler went on vacation with his family for the first time in many years and he definitely did not have a typical preparation for this Major.

On the other hand, Rory McIlroy comes to Royal Lytham with some reduced hype compared to 2011. McIlroy came to the Open Championship as the U.S. Open Champion and as the possible heir apparent to Tiger Woods. He also was with Chubby Chandler at the time and was under a microscope as everything he did was analyzed. This year, he is at Royal Lytham with his Dad and his coach and not many other people. Although he is 2nd in the Official World Golf Ranking, McIlroy is actually under the radar this week in many ways.

Adam Scott has had a very interesting career in that he seemed to have everything – the looks, the swing, the swagger- when he first turned pro. It is surprising to many people that he has yet to win a Major Championship but he has put himself in position to win in Majors recently and when you consider his first round 64 this year, it will interesting to see what happens. The fact that Steve Williams is his caddie is another interesting storyline especially if Tiger Woods is also in contention.