But he’s no Tiger Woods.
And not just because he’s not American (though that’s part of it).
He’s no Tiger because, well, he’s simply no Tiger. By the time Woods won his first major–the ’97 Masters, at the age of 21–he was already a national phenomenon. Even a global one.
We’d known him since he was a tyke appearing on the Mike Douglas Show. We watched him make us care about the national amateurs (name someone who’s won it since).
Then we watched him. And watched him. We watched him live up to the hype at every level. We watched him chase a bar set so high (Jacks’s 18 majors) it seemed ludicrous–except it was Tiger. So we got on board. We bought into the ludicrous and thought it possible.
We watched him become the next Michael Jordan–a straight-up global icon who attracted fans, TV ratings and corporate dollars as if they were lollipops at the reception desk.
We watched him hit shots we still remember. We watched him become the first jacked golfer.
We watched him change the game.
Of course, we also watched him fall. Perhaps the most precipitous fall we’ve ever seen among sports icons.
That’s why so many have been so quick to anoint Rory as the next…
I get it. The sport needs him. Badly.
Since Woods’ fall, golf has become, well, just golf again. Not even part of the discussion when it comes to games that capture those who care little about the game itself, but are captivated by the likes of Woods and…maybe Rory.
And maybe even soon.
But not yet.