McGinley hails in-form McIlroy
6:49am Monday 4th August 2014 in © Press Association 2014
Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley believes Rory McIlroy is on course to dominate golf following the Open champion's victory in the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational on Sunday.
A fortnight after holding off Sergio Garcia to lift the Claret Jug at Royal Liverpool, McIlroy overhauled his Ryder Cup team-mate to claim his first World Golf Championship event and regain top spot in the world rankings.
McIlroy turned a three-shot deficit into a two-shot lead within the space of five holes at Firestone Country Club before Garcia battled back to leave the pair tied heading into the back nine.
Garcia had played the same stretch of holes in just 27 shots in his second round of 61, but it was McIlroy who came out on top two days later in a tense duel, the 25-year-old carding a closing 66 to finish 15 under par, two ahead of Garcia as he had been in the Open.
With Adam Scott finishing outside the top five, that meant McIlroy reclaimed the world number one spot he last held in March 2013, just in time for the final major of the year, this week's US PGA Championship at Valhalla.
Asked if McIlroy was on the way to dominating the sport as Tiger Woods had, McGinley said on Sky Sports 4: "There is no reason why not. That's the best exhibition of driving I have ever seen from anybody in terms of length and accuracy. That golf course is very narrow off the tee and he is finding the fairway time after time at 340 yards.
"What I think is great is that Rory can hold his attitude where it is at now, it's very much in the present, taking one week at a time. He's never said he was chasing Jack Nicklaus' record of 18 majors and that's a great attitude, it takes the pressure off him and keeps him very much in the present where he needs to be."
Atfer 16 birdies in the first three rounds Garcia could only manage one in a disappointing closing 71, meaning the 34-year-old has now won just three times after holding the 54-hole lead on 16 occasions.
"What I am really proud of this week is following on from the Open with a performance like this," McIlroy, only the second European winner of the title after Darren Clarke in 2003, told CBS. "I said straight after I did not want any let down, I wanted to keep going and performing until the end of the season.
"It's great to come to one of my favourite tournaments of the year and to perform like this I am pretty satisfied."