Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy have become the true giants in the game of golf for the modern era. No, we are not counting out Phil Mickelson, Ricky Fowler, Dustin Johnson or Hideki.
The reason I called them giants is because they both are hunting for the coveted title of the Youngest Golfer to complete the career grand slam.
Rickie Fowler and Justin Thomas celebrated Spieth’s Open win, but one man did not give heed and he was Rory, challenging his stand for career grand slam win, stating it will be either him or Mickelson who deserve the title.
This kind of healthy rivalry has always been good for the game, supporters teasing each other, players having fun on the course, now that’s what golf needs to be, it can’t be a good show unless each one is indulged.
Spieth and McIlroy can talk everything to each other, share some glares with each other and still win the hearts of viewers.
There is compelling evidence to suggest McIlroy is the most likely to deny Spieth at the PGA, but this is yet another major where the list of potential winners runs very deep.
The young Texan has the momentum after his stunning Open victory, while McIlroy’s form is trending nicely as he prepares to compete at one of his favorite venues.
The Northern Irishman shared fourth place at an Open where he effectively gave the field a five-stroke head-start with his calamitous opening half-dozen holes and was fifth in the WGC Invitational last week when his approach play did not fire on all cylinders.
McIlroy has won at the Quail Hollow in 2010 which marked his first PGA Tour victory when he shot 62 as a 20-year old. McIlroy has won twice there, his record of 61 is still waiting to broken. Looking at his last week’s stats its look all set for the Irish lad as he had 52 out of 56 drives hitting more than 300yards.
Now with his best mate Harry Diamond on the bag, it’s more likely of him to be only the fourth player to reach five majors before turning 30.
Jordan Spieth, on the other hand, is on a roll winning two back to back titles at Travelers and The Open. It won’t be a surprise for many if the young Texan takes it home, in 2015, he had won The Masters and US Open back to back, now he has the chance to beat Tiger Woods to become the youngest to achieve the full set of golf’s biggest prizes. The only person they might be worried about will be Hideki Matsuyama who has the power to change the course of play on any given day, quite relevant with his latest win at the WGC Bridgestone Invitational.
Let’s wait and watch how things turn out for both at the 99th PGA Championship starting tomorrow.