Mark Rolfing - September 7, 2012


Rory McIlroy bested Tiger by just one stroke on Thursday and their strong play provided everyone, in his opinion, the best Thursday round on the 2012 PGA TOUR. The fact that this very exciting day happened in September is further proof that the FedExCup Playoffs are working and that golf is benefitting.

When he is asked who he thinks is the best player in the world, in the recent past he has said that it was Rory McIlroy even when Rory was not actually World #1. But now that he is World #1, his answer is that Rory and Tiger are the two best players in the world.

At the Ryder Cup, everyone will gravitate towards Tiger because of his presence on the course and Rolfing expects Tiger to take a leadership position on the U.S. team along with Phil Mickelson who will be setting a U.S. Ryder Cup record this year with his 9th team appearance.

Martin Kaymer was thought to be a stalwart for the European team but he has been struggling for most of this year. He is going to have to step it up in the next couple of weeks if he is going to be able to really contribute to the European effort to retain the Ryder Cup.

When it comes to potential Ryder Cup pairings, he expects to see Tiger and Steve Stricker together as well as Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson in Four-Ball if not in Foursomes as well. Captain Davis Love III has an advantage in having so many members of his team playing well right now so he has the ability to move pairings around and adjust while not worrying about losing quality. Jose Maria Olazabal does not have the same advantage at this moment as not all of his players are performing at their best right now.

Rolfing expects the scoring to be very low today as it was that way on Thursday and while it looks like the course is playing easy, that is not the case. He wonders why the PGA TOUR did not consider changing the par of the course this week from 72 to 70. If the par had been changed, the scores would have still been low but we would not be having this conversation about the course being too easy.