Rory McIlroy won’t ever draw like Tiger Woods.
He’s not fascinating enough of a figure. He isn’t rare enough to draw casual and non-golf fans. He doesn’t have the demonstrative personality. He isn’t a magnet for controversy (though that can change). He isn’t American.
Still, McIlroy is great for golf. After winning the PGA Championship on Sunday for his fourth major, in dramatic fashion, he’s the talk of the sport. He’s being propped up as the next king of golf. He’s being touted as having the most realistic shot at Jack Nicklaus’ majors record of 18.
McIlroy has made golf relevant again, helping fill the gap created by Woods’ injuries.
Plus, McIlroy’s combination of talent and competitiveness puts him on the brink of something incredible every time he takes the course. His history of collapsing makes him all the more riveting.
But what if McIlroy’s dominance prompts a Woods resurgence?
You know Woods is watching the sporting public fawn over McIlroy — while writing off Woods.
If anything can get him on his A game, maybe it’s the legitimacy of McIlroy. Woods has always seemed to hit another level when another guy is propped up next to him. Imagine if McIlroy could be an earnest rival for Woods with staying power David Duval and Sergio Garcia couldn’t muster.
Provided Woods’ body can rebound, or he can revamp his game to accommodate his propensity for injury, nothing would be better for golf than having Woods come back to take what’s his from McIlroy. Because you know McIlroy is game for that fight.