Rory McIlroy at Wells Fargo Championship 2014
Posted at May 3, 2014
Rory McIlroy is the one making the headlines at the Wells Fargo Championship before the leaders have even teed off!
Quail Hollow has a special place in the heart of Rory McIlroy. Four years ago, aged just 20, Rory put in a performance which marked a coming of age and blew away the rest of the field with an audacity reminiscent of the great Tiger Woods. A course record 62 (ten under par) for his final round, which included five birdies over the last five holes, didn't just confirm his potential but it made everyone sit up, take note and become scared of the ruthless youngster from Northern Ireland. Four years on and McIlroy, now a double major champion and former world number one, is tearing up Quail Hollow once again. Eight birdies on his march to the top of the leaderboard is the lowest round of the week so far at Quail Hollow - which is not the only comparison which can be made to 2010.
Four years ago, Rory made the cut on the number; as he did yesterday at Quail Hollow. Four years ago, Rory shot the lowest round (66) on day three; a feat he will no doubt achieve today with a sparkling round of 65. Four years ago, it was Angel Cabrera and Phil Mickelson left in his wake; once again it is the Argentinian who is sniffing around at the top of the leaderboard, with lefty not too far in the distance. Four years ago, Rory played alongside Scott McCarron during the first two rounds and was paired with McCarron once again during round three; this year Rory was paired with Rickie Fowler for the opening rounds and once again played with the colourful Puma star today. If these similarities aren't scary enough, both Fowler and McCarron also hail from California. How bizarre is that?
Maybe that is when Rory plays his best golf, in a relaxed environment with a player he has already enjoyed time with during the week and having only just made the cut - hence losing any of the pressure to win. We all know what happened on day four in 2010 at the tournament then known as the Quail Hollow Championship (see the video above); who is to say history won't repeat itself and Rory will secure his first win of the 2014 season?