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Sports Then and Now



Move Over Tiger! Rory McIlroy Dominates the U.S. Open 2

Posted on June 19, 2011 by Dean Hybl

The 22-year-old Rory McIlroy dominated the field at the 2011 U.S. Open.

It seems pretty ironic that the first U.S. Open played without the most dominant golfer of the last 15 years would serve as the coming out party for a 22-year-old golfer who dominated the tournament like no golfer other than Tiger Woods has ever done. Rory McIlroy broke so many records in claiming his first Major Championship that many now wonder if McIlroy could be golf’s next superstar.

If you happened to turn the television off after the first 63 holes of the Masters earlier this year and not pay attention to golf until now, you probably aren’t at all surprised that McIlroy led from wire-to-wire at the U.S. Open.

He was doing basically the same thing at the Masters before the wheels suddenly came off over the final  nine holes. McIlroy led by four strokes entering the final round and still had the lead at the 10th tee. However, he shot a 43 over the final nine and finished 10 strokes off the pace in a tie for 15th place.

Because of that record-setting collapse (his 80 was the worst score ever in the final round by a player who entered the final round leading the Masters), many were skeptical even when he opened the 2011 U.S. Open with a six-under 65 and followed it with a 66 to post the best first two-day score in U.S. Open history.

After shooting a 68 in the third round to take an eight stroke lead into the final round, even his opponents were hoping that McIlroy wouldn’t suffer another meltdown.

They needn’t worry as he birdied the first hole and never looked back as his final score of -16 (65-66-68-69=268) was the lowest score in U.S. Open history and four shots better than the -12 posted by Tiger Woods at the 2000 U.S. Open. All told, he established 12 new tournament records during his dominant victory. Read the rest of this entry →

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      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is a former major league baseball player who came into the game as a teenager and stayed until he was in his 40s. In between, Rusty Staub put up a solid career that was primarily spent on expansion or rebuilding teams.

      Originally signed by the Colt .45s at age 17, he made his major league debut as a 19-year old rookie and became only the second player in the modern era to play in more than 150 games as a teenager.

      Though he hit only .224 splitting time between first base and rightfield, Staub did start building a foundation that would turn him into an All-Star by 1967 when he finished fifth in the league with a .333 batting average.

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