Dubai: No praise is high enough for Rory McIlroy after the stunning fashion in which he won the PGA Championship on Sunday.
Rory was in a zone throughout the tournament as he won by a staggering margin of eight shots. Given the tough course and weather conditions in Kiawah, 13-under par total was only possible if someone played out of his socks — and Rory was something more. He was out of this world. No wonder he won by a record margin of eight shots... again.
His weekend rounds were brilliant, but I think the key to his win was the way he handled the high wind and rain on Friday and posted a three-over par 75 in his second round. Such were the conditions that 75 was as good as a 68 or 69 on any other day.
Not too long ago, McIlroy’s critics were questioning his commitment to the game after he missed four cuts in five starts. I can understand their concerns, given that the Northern Irishman had raised everyone’s expectations with sustained brilliance for a long period before that. For almost a whole year, he could do no wrong and, whenever he stepped on the golf course, he had a top-five finish without fail.
But that kind of form is difficult to maintain and, because Rory is not a machine, there will be lean days. That is something that his critics and fans will have to get used to. And they have to appreciate that he has a life outside the golf course and there is absolutely nothing wrong if he lets his hair down once in a while.
I have no doubt that Rory is headed for a career that will be an inspiration for generations to come. He can have the same kind of impact that Tiger Woods has had. But let’s just leave all those talks for a time when he is about to end his career. Right now, this is merely the start for him.
I had gone into the tournament with high hopes, but was hampered by an injury in my right palm. I had hurt myself in the inside of the palm while playing the second round of the Scottish Open, but it was alright until now. It did hurt a bit during chipping, or hitting punch shots — which is when my hands are ahead of the ball at the point of impact — and I had to hit a lot of those shots at the windy Kiawah.
I am having an MRI scan done this week in Delhi, which should give me a better idea of what is wrong. In any case, I have decided to pull out of next week’s Johnnie Walker Championship in Gleneagles, which should give me a couple of weeks to rest. Hopefully I will be back in Switzerland rested and fully fit.