Watching the last round of the Tour Championship this morning...
Let's imagine, for a second, that Rory McIlroy continues on the career trajectory that he seems to be laying out for himself. In other words, let's predict that Rory will be the Tiger of the current generation of young golfers. Given how well Rory has played lately, it's not much of a stretch...
So, if Rory is the Tiger, who's the Phil?
Were it not for Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson would be remembered as the best golfer, by far, of the last 20 years. He has been Tiger's closest rival during a time when, at Tiger's best, there really wasn't anybody who was very close. He is a man of impressive talent but he may be better remembered for the ones that got away than the ones he won. There's always a feeling about Phil that he's only ever one hole away from a spectacular melt down. And the fans love him.
So who will be Rory's Phil?
My prediction is that in 20 years, we will look back at Bubba Watson's career and think that, were it not for Rory, he would have been the best of the generation. There is the same "loose cannon" feel about Bubba's game that there is about Phil's. He'll win a good share, but he'll lose some biggies to Rory along the way. And he'll have a few spectacular meltdowns on the weekends. That's my prediction, anyway.