Masterful McIlroy’s win brightens European Ryder Cup hopes

Sam Torrance
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SUNDAY’S result, with him winning the US PGA Championship, was magnificent for Rory McIlroy – it truly doesn’t get much better than that. It was a fantastic week for the Europeans involved – there were seven in the top nine – and I was also pleased for David Lynn in second, but McIlroy’s the man of the moment. His win was a joy to watch.

The course at Kiawah Island, where this year’s tournament was played, is very European in its nature. It’s got those seaside links, and I think that’s what suited the European players. With the Ryder Cup nearing, that result certainly won’t have done them – and particularly McIlroy – any harm.

It was also a fantastic tournament for Ian Poulter. In finishing joint third, he’ll be much closer to the cup team, and that’s exactly what he wanted. He will have been disappointed with his finish but his start was amazing, and he showed his true class – when he needed to perform, he did so, and now he looks good for the Ryder Cup.

Europe’s chances in that are a lot better now than they were only a week ago. I thought our boys were declining, but they’ve turned it around completely this week, so it’s certainly a boost for them.

For McIlroy, that’s as good as it gets. He played beautifully – he just got everything right. There are those now comparing him with the likes of Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus, and that’s a billing he deserves. To have two Majors at the age of 23 represents a great start to a career but regardless of age, the most important thing is that he’s won a second Major, because that’s the hardest one to win.

Looking at Tiger Woods – he again showed up for a couple of days, and then went on holiday. It just wasn’t his weekend, because he didn’t play well. That’s three Majors this year in which he’s started impressively and not finished it off but I still feel it’s a step in the right direction, and that there’s more to come.

Sam Torrance OBE is a multiple Ryder Cup-winning golfer and media commentator. Follow him on Twitter @torrancesam