Posts Tagged ‘Masters’

Rory McIlroy runs away with U.S. Open, gives ethics fans a new hero to pull for

June 19, 2011

Sports fans who try to live an ethical life are often pulled in two directions by their favorites. What Dodger fan could, with a clear conscience, pull for drug-cheat Manny Ramirez to hit one out of the park? And what Redskins fan could root for Albert Haynesworth to sack the opposing quarterback, after the 300-pound tackle stomped on an opposing player’s face with his football cleats.? And what fans of the Vancouver Canucks or L.A. Lakers could go on feeling good rooting for their teams after ugly displays of pure brutality?

Well, all of us do, even though we know we’re rooting for deeply flawed individuals.

But then a new hero comes along with a dazzling smile, so apparently pure and strong of character that we fall in love again. So it is with Rory McIlroy, winner today of golf’s U.S. Open by an unheard of eight strokes with a record low Open score of 268. At 22, McIlroy is the youngest Open winner since the legendary Bobby Jones won in 1923 at age 21.

After earning praise here for an extraordinary display of grace and sportsmanship after his game collapsed in the last round of the Masters—as it had in last year’s British Open—McIlroy exorcised his inner demons and (more…)

Wow! Rory McIlroy eagles to go 10 under at U.S. Open. Ethical fans cheer extra loud after letdowns from Canucks, Lakers, and Buckeyes

June 17, 2011

Sport is often depressing. We were depressed Monday when Vancouverites rioted after their thuggish Canucks lost the National Hockey League championship to the Boston Bruins. We were depressed last month when the Los Angeles Lakers degenerated into dirty play as they were swept in four games by the Dallas Mavericks. And we were depressed by the news that Ohio State’s All-American quarterback Terrelle Pryor and super coach Jim Tressel were long-time cheaters.

But sport is more often elevating, as when tennis star Andy Roddick corrected an umpire’s wrong call to his own disadvantage and it wound up costing him a championship, or when 22-year old Rory McIlroy gave  everybody a lesson in  grace and sportsmanship after his game totally disintegrated as he was on the verge of claiming one of golf’s major prizes, the Masters Green Jacket.

So I was delighted to read in this morning’s paper that McIlroy had a three stroke lead after the first round of golfdom’s #1 prize, the 111th U.S. Open. As I sat down to blog about this exemplar of ethics in sport, Google popped up with this breaking news from Reuters that McIlroy had holed out his approach shot on the par-four eighth hole for a rare eagle to go 10 under par, the earliest any player had ever reached 10-under in the Open. Ethics fans hope he keeps it up this time.

An inspiring lesson in grace, sportsmanship, and accountability from Masters loser Rory McIlroy

April 11, 2011

 

We usually look to success and experience for inspiration, but once in a rare while we can be inspired by failure and inexperience. If character is sometimes defined by how we react to failure, then 21-year old Rory McIlroy is an inspiration, a man of real character.

McIlroy was on the verge of claiming one of sport’s greatest awards, the green jacket and the $1,440,000 that goes to the winner of golf’s Masters tournament. He had a four-stroke lead going into the last round, and a one-stroke lead with nine holes to play. Then disaster: a triple-bogey 7 on 10, a bogey 5 on 11, and a double-bogey 5 on 12 and McIlroy was out of contention, finishing with a score of 80 and a tie for 15th place.

Walking off the 18th green he was met by a sportscaster with a microphone. McIlroy didn’t run from the mike.

CBS reporter Peter Kostis asked what happened. McIlroy didn’t whine, didn’t complain, didn’t offer an excuse.

“I thought I hung in pretty well in the front nine, I was leading the tournament going into the back nine. Just hit a poor tee shot on 10 and I just sort of unraveled from there. Just sort of lost it 10, 11, 12, and couldn’t really get it back. It’s one of those things, I’m very disappointed at the minute and I’m sure I will be for the next few days, but I’ll get over it. I’ve got to take the positives, and the positives are I led this golf tournament for 63 holes. I’ll have plenty more chances, I know that. It’s very disappointing what happened today and hopefully it will build a little bit of character in me as well.”

McIlroy already has more than a little bit of character.

 


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