The battle between Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth hasn’t really panned out yet. Both of these golfers look like prize fighters in the first round circling each other and just feeling each other out. Make no mistake about it, this should be a fantastic rivalry in the sport for the next 10-15 years. It’s very easy to see that both Rory and Jordan are the two top golfers in the world today. There may be a pack of talent nipping at their heels, but when you look at raw talent, it’s these two and it’s not really close. When these two are on the top of their games, no one in the world comes close.
Currently, Rory is 27 and Jordan is 23. Rory had his year in 2014 in which he dominated the golf world. He ended up winning two majors, and blowing away the competition. Many thought this was the birth of the new Tiger Woods. However, Rory’s time atop the throne did not last long because just one year later Spieth came in and did the exact same thing and even flirted with golf’s grand slam all the way into Sunday at the British Open.
Some may argue that Jason Day, who is only 28, belongs in the same echelon with these two. I have nothing against Day and think he is a world class player. That being said, I think he is just a touch below the level that Rory and Spieth are on. Also, I’ve never heard of a three way rivalry, however the more I think about it, the more I like that idea and possibility.
There is a problem that I have with this potential rivalry, and that’s the fact that these two guys are just too nice. I understand that this is the nature of golf and being a “gentleman” but I wish there was a little more animosity among players. And don’t get me wrong I believe that animosity exists (it’s natural), it’s just that it isn’t shown publicly. My hope would be that we see a rivalry between Jordan and Rory that resembles what happened between Matt Kuchar and Miguel Angel Jiminez. I want to see anger and hatred at Augusta on a Sunday. I want to see them battle back and forth for majors and golf’s crown. I don’t want to see Instagram posts and Tweets about how they’re happy and excited for the other guy winning. I’m not asking for Happy Gilmore level of chaos but there is definitely a middle ground waiting to be explored.
Golf needs a rivalry and it needs hatred. I’m not sure if Rory and Jordan will get there, however if they keep jostling back and forth for majors it may just happen by osmosis. Even if Jordan and Rory remain to be buddy-buddy with each other for the remainder of their careers we should still see an amazing competition between the two of them. It’s difficult to say who will end up with more majors at the end of their career but I’m going to give it to Spieth. Spieth’s putter is absolutely deadly, especially under pressure. He also seems to want it more than Rory does. Long term prediction here but I say that Spieth ends up with 12 majors at the end of his illustrious career and is able to turn the tables against the Europeans in the Ryder Cup in the process. All aboard the Spieth train, CHOO CHOOO!