Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 December 2014

Rory McIlroy can be the Master like Seve Ballesteros

Tennis player Caroline Wozniacki walks with her fiancee Rory McIlroy, of Northern Ireland, during the par three competition at the Masters golf tournament Wednesday, April 9, 2014, in Augusta, Ga. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Tennis player Caroline Wozniacki walks with her fiancee Rory McIlroy, of Northern Ireland, during the par three competition at the Masters golf tournament Wednesday, April 9, 2014, in Augusta, Ga. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

The Masters. There is no finer golf tournament on the planet. Don't you just love Sunday night, the final round, the back nine and all the drama that awaits at Amen Corner and beyond?

Oh, the memories.

Jack Nicklaus holing that putt on 17 on his way to a stunning victory at the age of 46, Sandy Lyle's bunker shot on 18, Ian Woosnam's glory on the same hole, Nick Faldo ripping the heart out of Greg Norman, Larry Mize chipping in, Phil Mickelson's joy at slipping into the Green Jacket, a 21-year-old Tiger Woods becoming the youngest player to claim the prize and of course any time the sublime Seve Ballesteros strutted his stuff on the perfectly manicured course.

Boy, I loved Seve and his charisma, charm and crazy shots. We all did. He transcended the sport.

The modern day stars should never forget what he did for golf in terms of its popularity and their earning power.

The Spaniard (above) was a true champion. Twice he finished top of the leaderboard at Augusta. Fitting because it's a place where the greats of golf succeed, providing glorious snapshots that are forever in our heads.

The best of all may come this weekend. Imagine what it would be like tuning in on Sunday to see Darren Clarke, Graeme McDowell or Rory McIlroy triumphing.

Between them they have won all the other majors.

This could be the year when Northern Ireland completes the set.

I've always felt the Masters was McIlroy's destiny. A few years ago we had the meltdown. Now's the time to create some magic memories, Rory.

 

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