It's no secret that I was a little down on the BMW Championship this year. It had always been played at Cog Hill since I moved to Chicago four years ago and this year it moved to Carmel, IN at Crooked Stick GC. It's not that I have anything personal against Carmel or Crooked Stick - it was a fine course and visually pleasing - but there's something to be said about having a very meaningful, big time golf tournament essentially in your back yard. Maybe in the future, the BMW will return to Dubsdread at Cog Hill, because it is a worthy home and I've wanted to cover it live since I started writing this blog a few years ago.
Being there live this year would have been quite the treat. For years the only time Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy were involved in the same sentence was when McIlroy had something to say about Woods, usually about not being afraid and feeling he was just as good.
Boy is that ever the case, now. We've seen Woods really play up to his potential when paired with McIlroy lately. He makes putts, takes risks and finally reaps rewards. There must be something about McIlroy's aura that brings out the good-golf-playing-competitor in Woods. It's just one of those things. Woods never had a huge competitor - not even Mickelson all the directly - but maybe, just maybe, McIlroy will become to Woods what Bird was to Magic.
That may be a stretch, but we've been seeing something different out of Woods lately since he's been paired with McIlroy so often. Woods normally gets off to a hot start against McIlroy, but it's the Irish sensation who has been closing tournaments and racking up trophies these past two years. He's won three out of four tournaments and is poised to take the FedEx Cup title if he doesn't completely self-combust at the TOUR Championship.
No signs point to him doing that, and that's great for golf fans. He's as fun to watch when he's on fire as Woods ever was, and that's about as high of praise as you can get. He plays inventive shots and walks the fairways with the same swagger Woods once did.
Our only hope should be for Woods to fully recapture his brilliance so we can see these two go at for years to come. Luckily, the Ryder Cup is right around the corner and we'll hopefully get another serving of Old Guard vs. New Guard.
It's great for the game.