Jay Townsend - March 6, 2012


In his opinion, the area where Rory McIlroy has improved the most is his self-discipline when it comes to attempting risky shots. He is the most talented player in the world and he enjoys taking risks and showing off his talents. In the past, that has gotten him into trouble when he is in contention late in tournaments but last week he showed a lot more restraint which is a very good thing.

When he played in Malaysia the week after the 2011 Masters along with Masters Champion Charl Schwartzel, he was attracting people to the course even before he won the U.S. Open. Rory is a big ticket item and just as he has attracted crowds around the world, he is doing the same thing in the United States and he will continue to do so.

When you go down the list of European Major Champions making an impact around the world, Seve Ballesteros comes to mind but he seemed to have a bit of chip on his shoulder when he played in the United States and was not that fan-friendly. The U.S. audience respected Nick Faldo but he had a bit of icy demeanor which was not fan-friendly either. Langer did not win the U.S. often enough and Olazabal did not play in the U.S. often enough to be embraced. Rory is very different from those other players in that he has been embraced by fans and wants to be embraced by fans.

Rory McIlroy is coming into the strength of his PGA TOUR career while Tiger Woods is not and over the next five years, Rory will just continue to get better and better and he thinks he will win more Majors than Tiger over the next five years.

Lee Westwood is playing very well right now and he has played well in the past at Augusta National but right now, Westwood’s weakness is his short game and his putting and those are the things that determine who wins The Masters. Westwood is shaky in those areas right now but he is playing well right now and certainly could contend if those areas of his game are strong.