HE’S world No1, a multiple Major champion and now winner of the European and American tours money list double. Rory McIlroy has become a megastar and he’s improving in front of our eyes.
People should sit back and enjoy watching the Northern Irishman in his pomp, because players as talented as the 23-year-old only come around once every 10 years.
While topping the Race to Dubai – as he did on Sunday – and the PGA Tour’s order of merit are fantastic achievements, McIlroy’s next target will be to add to his two Major wins. If he wins more Majors, the orders of merit will come on their own.
McIlroy has talked of targeting Jack Nicklaus’s 18 Major titles, and the Golden Bear is certainly the yardstick. Tiger Woods had the opportunity to match Nicklaus – he may yet – and I’d suggest McIlroy is the next serious challenger.
He certainly has all the ingredients, not least an old head on young shoulders. He studies hard, is looking to learn every minute of every day, and is now dotting the Is and crossing the Ts.
Another man deserves some of the limelight this week, and that is Matteo Manassero, whose win at the Singapore Open makes him the first teenager to win three titles on the European Tour. The 19-year-old is perhaps unique in that he is very short off the tee. Once he finds a way of adding 20 yards to his drive he may be up there challenging McIlroy.
For now, his triumph over a valiant Louis Oosthuizen in a play-off lifts him into the world top 50, meaning he’s on course for a place at next year’s Masters – a fantastic bonus and wonderful end to the season.
Sam Torrance OBE is a multiple Ryder Cup-winning golfer and commentator. Follow him on Twitter @torrancesam