Belfast Telegraph

Graeme McDowell has rethink over Rory McIlroy's credentials

By Jim Gracey

Graeme McDowell has been so impressed by Rory McIlroy over the past four weeks, he's rapidly revising his opinion about his young fellow Ulsterman's prospects of starting a new 'Rory Era' in the sport.

"I said at The Open I didn't think we were ready to start talking about the next Tiger," said the Portrush man before the finish at Valhalla.

"If he was to win this, I'd sort of start chewing on my words a little. When Rory's at his best, there's no one who can live with him because he has the all round game.

"Putting used be his Achilles heel but it's not anymore. His short game's phenomenal, always has been. His equipment change, his driver wasn't the weapon it was but now it is again. He's got that sorted out, his driver is back to being a serious weapon.

"Attitude-wise, he's obviously in a very good place. Despite everything that's going on, he seems to have nipped it all in the bud and is in a very, very, very good place mentally. He'll win as many Majors as he wants, he's that good."

McDowell quite rightly castigated the PGA of America for failing to allow preferred lies given heavy rain overnight and the forecast for more. "It was unplayable this morning. Balls should have been played-up, simple as!"

The Portrush man made bogey at 17 but, after a nice two-putt birdie at 18, wrapped up his tournament with a two-under-par 69 to tie with Shane Lowry on one-under, on the fringes of the top-50.

Lowry finished just as the first drops of rain were beginning to fall, which is ironic when one considers how severely his prospects were undermined when he was forced to commence his second round on Friday in conditions just as bad as yesterday, a 74 eventually wiping out all the good work he'd done with an impressive opening 68.

After clinching a top-10 finish at the Open with a fine closing 65 at Hoylake, Lowry signed for a sweet 67 yesterday.

Belfast Telegraph


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