Rickie vs. Rory

Rory McIlroy (Getty)
Rory McIlroy (Getty)

 As you may have heard by now the PGA Tour players have voted Rickie Fowler the Rookie of the Year for 2010. I was shocked to see that Rory McIlroy had not received the award, but after a little extra digging I can see how a strong case can be made for Rickie! I would have a hard time placing a bet against either of these two fine young players but who had the better year?

Rickie Fowler (Getty)
Rickie Fowler (Getty)

Rickie Fowler had no wins on the PGA Tour this year, but he did have 7 top 10's. Rory McIlroy had one win (Quail Hollow) on the PGA Tour and 5 top 10's - two of which were third place finishes in major championships.

Fowler finished 32nd on the money listwhile McIlroy was 36th; they both played on their respective Ryder Cup teams - McIlroy on the winning side; Rickie had a 70.35 stroke average, while Rory's was 70.94; Rickie played 28 events while Rory only played 16.

In fact in their eleven head to head meetings (in official PGA Tour events) Rory bested Rickie on seven occasions!

A close call....?

On the surface I can commiserate with Lee Westwood in his rant on Twitter against the selection:

Sorry 140 letters is not going to be enough for this rant! Just seen Rickie Fowler has been given rookie of the year! Yes he's had a good year but Rory McIlroy third in two majors and an absolute demolition of the field at Quail Hollow! Oh yes and on the winning Ryder cup team! Please! Is this yet another case of protectionism by the PGA Tour or are they so desperate to win something! Wouldn't have something to do with Rory not joining the tour next year?"

However if you look at the body of work  Rickie Fowler put forth he has a strong case. You must also consider the fact that Rickie came straight to the tour from Oklahoma Statewhereas Rory turned professional in 2007 and came to the US tour after two years on the European Tour.

All that being said - isn't this a great argument to be have? Here are two of the finest young gunsthe PGA Tour has seen in a long while and we cannot decide who had the better year - fantastic! As someone once said to me, "These are high grade problems!"

The 2011 season is shaping up to be a beauty (even without Rory being an official member of the PGA Tour). Dustin, G-Mac, even Tiger! It's gonna be good....

Your thoughts?

Quail Hollow Notes

Tiger@Quail Hollow (Getty)


  • Sunday is shaping up to be a beauty with Zach Johnson on the cusp of a 'validation' year and Tiger and Co. hot on his heels.
  • The top 13 players in the field (T9 or better) played the Green Mile in a mere +3.  Zach is +1 for the week even with his bogey, bogey, bogey finish yesterday and Tiger is +4 for the week.
  • The group of Ian Poulter (now there's a guy who can dress!) and Cliff Kresge played the 14th to the 18th holes in 6 under;  with 3 birdies on the Green Mile holes!
  • Someone must come up with a better name than the Green Mile!  That's not scary.
  • The 17th hole is a poor design and something needs to be done!  On what hole do the best players hit a well struck 7-iron that lands pin high and releases 60 feet before being stopped from going in the water by 3 feet of rough?  The shape is fine, but the green must be changed!
  • Was today the blue shirt and khaki pants day? (notice Tiger above)  I saw 3 or 4 players wearing that same line-up.
  • I like the 14th hole.  When was the last time you saw a major winner hit a 50 yard pitch into the water?  There is a great risk reward balance on the hole.
  • I do believe the 2 inch rough plays into Tiger, Phil, Bubba and Goosen's hand.  So what!  I like birdies and the greens are countering the lack of rough with excess speed this year.  Good idea!
  • What Zach is doing this year once again proves that there will always be room on the PGA Tour for a 'little' man with a big heart.  Just ask Gary Player, Corey Pavin, Lee Trevino and Ian Woosnam.  Even though Zach has each of those guys by a few inches.....
  • Tiger Woods seems angry almost all the time. Ever since Augusta, all I ever see him doing is cursing or giving somebody the evil eye.
  • I look forward to watching someone stand on the 16th tee and attempt get a one stroke lead to the clubhouse tomorrow.
  • Watch my man David Toms........

The 84 Degree Secret! (Part 4)

Body position is the most important factor influencing impact and the quality of the golf shots you are hitting. In the illustration notice how Annika's right side seems to form a straight line. From the outside of her back foot all the way up her right side to the right side of her head can be covered with a straight line laying at 84 degrees. This indicates the 84 degree secret.

Mickey Wright

It is quite amazing how many of the top golfers obey this '84 Degree Secret'!

To be clear this is not Stack and Tilt which actually encouraged the golfer to feel as if they are leaning towards the target. Here the upper body remains steady/centered while the body pivots to the top without drifting across the line.

The '84 Degree Secret' is essential to achieving a correct impact as it makes it simple for the golfer to get to the proper hit position. Think of it this way; if you move the upper body six inches off the ball in the backswing, you now have to find a way to get it back to where it started, at exactly the right time, and in one third the amount of time it took to get it out of position.

Keep the upper body centered/over the ball and you will start to compress the ball like never before!

A recap of the last four articles and how they pertain to a great impact:

  • A strong grip allows the handle to lead the club head with the club face remaining square.
  • A 'vertical' set-up where the head is centered between the feet and there is minimal shoulder tilt prepares the body for the proper pivot.
  • A steeper shoulder pivot keeps the upper body centered and allows for a descending attack into the ball.
  • The 84 degree secret! Eliminate lateral motion and keep the head over the ball to make for a simplified transition into the hit.

Should you have any questions or queries please feel free to post a comment!

Things to ponder:

  • Tiger is in for a battle this weekend! Good for golf and good for us.
  • Quail Hollow has the look and feel of a US Open, but trust me it is not even close. There are six holes on the course where I would be thinking birdie! Now the other twelve are a different story......
  • There are over 15 million active blogs available online. Thanks for reading this one!
  • I like what Stuart Appleby said about the 17th at Quail Hollow, "Bad design!" I second that motion.
  • Phil seems to be working out and in better shape, yet how does he always manage to look a little chubby to me? Amy needs to up his shirt size me thinks.
  • Please post a comment - I am heartbroken that there have not been any thus far.........
  • Stay well!