Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 23 July 2014

Rory's got the world at his feet: Murray

Rory McIlroy is the biggest thing to hit golf since the emergence of Sergio Garcia, says renowned Sky commentator and coach Ewen Murray.

The Scot was on television duty for the closing stages of the Alfred Dunhill Links on Sunday as the young Ulsterman secured his Tour card with three birdies in the closing four holes.

"It was the best moment of the year on the European Tour," Murray said. "Just a simply fantastic effort to watch him play those closing few holes.

"Rory is the biggest thing to come along in years."

As a coach Murray has worked with some of Europe's top players and Darren Clarke consults him regularly.

But he reckons that the last thing McIlroy needs is extra advice right now.

"His swing is about 98 percent perfect and that's about as far as you can really go," Murray, a former European Tour pro, said.

"He does hit the ball a little high and if his flight was lower then he would get a little more penetration and distance.

"But that will come naturally to him over the course of the next six months to a year. He's only 18 and still has some growing to do.

"A lot of the younger players these days change far too much but Rory just needs to carry on doing what he is doing. It will all come naturally."

McIlroy has become the youngest player ever to secure his Tour card, beating Garcia.

But whereas the Spaniard needed four events to win enough to secure his playing rights in 1999, McIlroy required just two, his third place finish at St Andrews on Sunday taking him to 110th on the European Order of Merit.

And Murray says it is the young Garcia whom McIlroy most reminds him of.

"He has that aura, that confidence about his game which is very much like Sergio when he first burst on the scene," he said.

"But he's with the right management company with Chubby Chandler, people who will keep him going in the right direction and make sure that he doesn't try to do too much.

"He has some good stablemates in Darren Clarke, Lee Westwood, Graeme McDowell and David Howell and they'll keep his feet on the ground.

"He has everything in place."

McIlroy is expected to play in Spain this week at the Open de Madrid and improve further on his world rankings after he climbed 572 places to 305th following Dunhill.

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