He’ll have ample opportunity to ram the point home when 74 of the world’s best tee off at the iconic TPC Blue Monster course at the Doral resort in Miami for the 2012 World Golf Championships Cadillac Championship early Friday Australian time.
The field includes the current world top ten, including the man McIlroy deposed, the now No.2 Luke Donald.
The Englishman wasn’t even playing last week and was largely lost in all the kerfuffle about the arrival of a new golfing messiah. A win here could put Donald back on top.
Then there’s Tiger Woods, the man Americans are hoping showed a true return to form with his stunning 8-under final day charge at the Honda Classic in Palm Beach on Sunday.
Then there’s the very in form Phil Mickelson to add to the list, along with seven Australians including big occasion performers Jason Day and Adam Scott.
After days of hype following McIlroy’s elevation to the No.1 ranking, including surviving a tennis match up against Maria Sharapova, the 22 year old Northern Irishman was at his pre-tournament media conference today making lots of sense.
With the media trying to drum up a rivalry between he and Tiger Woods (amongst others), McIlroy responded: “To be honest in golf, you can have a rival if you want, but at the end the day, your biggest rival is a golf course. You have to beat that. You have to be able to beat the golf course more often than not, and that’s all you’re trying to do.
Ultimately you’re going to have to beat people coming down the stretch on Sundays, and whether it’s Tiger Woods or Phil Mickelson or Lee Westwood or Luke Donald or Martin Kaymer or whoever; you know, I would never really want to say that I’m in a rivalry with someone. I just want to go out there and play good golf and solid golf. And if I can do that, then people can make the rivalries up themselves. If people want to say there’s a rivalry, so be it, but I don’t see myself as anyone’s rival out here. I just see myself as Rory McIlroy and going out there and trying to play good golf and winning tournaments at the end of the day.”
And as to long term comparisons with Woods and other greats: “I’m going to let other people make the comparisons. I’m not going to try and compare myself to anyone else. I’ve never said that I want to be the next anyone. I just want to be the first Rory McIlroy. However good that turns out to be, then I’ll try my best to win tournaments and to win majors and to be best player in the world.
Along with Scott and Day the Australians in the field include Geoff Ogilvy, Aaron Baddeley, John Senden, Marcus Fraser and star performer from last week Greg Chalmers.
2012 WGC-Cadillac Championship TV Times
The 2012 WGC-Cadillac Championship is being broadcast live in Australia on ONE HD.
1st Round, Friday 6am – 10am; 2nd Round, Saturday 6am – 10am; 3rd Round, Sunday 4am – 10am; Final Round, Monday (WTF! One HD has no current Monday listing for the 4th round being broadcast live. Hopefully this is an oversight but we wouldn’t put it past them.)
2012 WGC-Cadillac Championship Live Leaderboard