When professional golf championships occur at courses like Pebble Beach, Olympic or Kiawah, players become unexpectedly vulnerable. An Ocean Course delivers juggernaut unpredictability because wind and weather can abruptly shut down play just like what happened on Saturday at Kiawah. One player demonstrated when opportunity arises you must take supreme advantage. As a squall loomed, Rory McLlroy climbed into contention. He made a par on Keawah's third hole after his ball became lodged in a tree and making par set the tone. If viewers remained in awe when Kiawah brought down a surging Ian Poulter starting as impressively early Sunday as Rory McLlroy did early on Saturday, it showed the difference between a great player and good one. Poulter also played with sudden fury and aimed for the leaderboard producing knockdown shots when Kiawah provided opportunity, but he ultimately succumbed. Kiawah's challenges humbled former PGA champions Vijay Singh and a wild Tiger. In fact, Singh looked less of a champion than anyone. There was no show from "The Big Fijian" like old Earnie Els delivered last month at the British Open. Kiawah derailed a patient and steady Swede Carl Pettersson with a technicality. The PGA was not to be taken from another player as much as it was going to be earned. The 2012 PGA Champion Roy McLlroy for many must now remain the heir apparent to golf's future of superiority.
Since the beginning of summer's quest for multiple major winners, I was sure it would be McLlroy, Tiger Woods, or his fellow countryman Graeme McDowell. McDowell's 2010 US Open destroyed Justin Johnson, a player I used to enjoy watching and had hoped would show a rebound, but has not happened. McDowell continued to be a challenger in majors and his final rounds at the 2012 US Open and yesterday removes his name from who will be the next player to win the Masters in 2013. I thought Tiger's success this summer particularly with his win at the AT & T that propelled him into a prestigious No. 1 ranking beginning July 2012 would be the next major winner, but it has not happened. Tiger is still third overall and he is the spotlight when his name is near the top of leaderboards. I believe Tiger is starting to look bad in majors even though he finished third at the British. Yesterday, Tiger started the day five down and finished tied for 11th spot with a number of familiar names like Adam Scott and Graeme McDowell.
Adam Scott is surely a guy you hope would make a dramatic comeback like McLlroy did in 2011 after losing the Master's in hopeless fashion. Scott watched as Web Simpson surged at the US Open and then failed miserably down the wire at the British, making careless bogeys. Scott is not rebounding the way McLlroy had with an immediate win of the 2011 US Open, following a loss at Augusta 2011. Suddenly, McLlroy is the young guy destined for greatness. He shook off his Master's debacle like it did not even happen. While he seemed to disappear from the last five majors, the magic returned yesterday. He is your second multiple major winner and performs down the stretch in striking fashion. McLlroy's final round play at Kiawah was stellar attack mode and no good walk spoiled. He made pressure par putts all day. He made great shots from sand. He made birdies and did what Woods says you are supposed to do - kick butt. McLlroy's name and not any other's name sits atop the 2012 Official World Golf Rankings. Rory McLlroy proves to be more than any other player the face of modern day golf superiority.