Originally Posted by CraiginKSA
Some people play the game. A select few change the way the game is played. Harry Vardon did it, Ben Hogan did it, Arnie did it, Jack did it, Tiger did it.
I don't see Rory as a game changer. Sure he's number one. So was Martin Kaymer. He's got mad skills, but he's not Tiger or Jack. He's more Phil or Nick. Great talent, great work ethic, a guy you can root for, but is he that much better than Luke Donald, or Hunter Mahan, or Jason Duffner? All of the latest youngsters on the tour are a direct result of Tiger showing the way.
In baseball we call an extraordinary player a five-tool guy - hit for power, hit for average, catch, throw, run. I submit that in golf we have six tools - drive for distance, drive for accuracy, irons, short game, putting and course management/mental toughness. Tiger is/was a six tool guy. Jack probably five tool (he didn't need a short game, cuz he seemingly never missed a green! I mean seriously. Have you ever seen Jack get up and down?). Phil, four tools (his course management is awful and he's wild off the tee). Rory is maybe four tool - course management and putting are not world class. I see him winning a Faldo-like six majors or so. There's too much money and too much talent-leveling equipment out there for him to dominate without being significantly longer and straighter than everyone else.
You're nuts. You're calling McIlroy Faldo-like? Faldo does not obliterate every elite golfer in the world by 8 shots at a US Open. And mentioning Faldo and Mickelson in the same breath is likely to cause a volatile reaction. You could not pick 2 players with more opposing styles. Phil never takes his foot off the gas, always goes for the hero shot, etc. Faldo always lays up and plays not to lose. Rory is a bit of a tempered Phil, he hits 3 wood a lot and manages his way around the course pretty well, but he has the ability to hit some amazing shots that Faldo simply never had in his bag. It's easy to take the safe play when you can't reach the green anyway. Rory has a set of cajones and will try some shots that might have risk, but can pull them off pretty often.
McIlroy is stupid long and can outdrive almost anybody when he has a mind to. Did you see him smoke one by Fowler last week with a 3 wood? Fowler is no slouch either, and it went by him a decent bit. He doesn't hit that many fairways, but he's pretty solid for a player of his length. You must not have watched the US Open last year because he was hitting 340 yard bombs in the fairway all week. He struggles at times, especially when it's windy, but when he doesn't struggle he shoots low scores, period. His iron game is widely considered the best, and his short game is among the elite on tour. He's in the top 10 in driving distance, and he does that hitting 3 wood all the time when Dustin and Bubba get paid more to blast drivers all year long. How much longer does he have to be?
His putting is pretty damn good overall, but he does miss short ones more than he could. His course management is better than it was, and will only improve as he actually plays courses multiple times and gets even more tournament experience. Mental game is his only real question; he plays quickly and decisively and stays cool, but he has lost that cool in stressful situations before. However, his mental game in terms of not compounding errors is very solid. He learned from the Masters and you didn't see him have a bad run of holes very often since. He missed the partial wedge the other day in the playoff because he tried to take something off, got the distance right, but didn't go through the ball solidly enough and blocked it a few yards. In past years he'd either hook it or knock it over the green. Fowler happened to hit the shot of his life for his approach instead of his tee shot like Rory did and it turned out to be the right move. Getting a little snakebitten is no indication that you don't have a lot of talent. Fowler did make birdie, and Rory would have made par so it's not like it was a bad miss.
As for talent-leveling equipment, I don't think it makes a difference. Today's equipment is a non factor for the pros and distance certainly isn't as much of an advantage as you make it out to be. There are scads of long hitters on tour with few or no wins. There is no one else on tour with the raw talent Rory has, not even close.