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PGA Golf

Rory McIlroy: ‘Do I feel like the best player in the world? Yes’


Rory McIlroy, as evidenced by his ownership of the top spot in the Official World Golf Ranking and further corroborated by the opinions of the world’s wisest and most astute golf pundits, is the best player in golf at the moment.

And wouldn’t you know it? McIlroy agrees.

During a presser ahead of the U.S. Open this week, the 26-year-old superstar briefly addressed the comments LeBron James made during the NBA Finals about being the best basketball player in the world. When asked if he holds himself in the same regard in the golf world, McIlroy responded in the affirmative.

“Do I feel like the best player in the world? Yes,’’ McIlroy said Tuesday, per the New York Post. “I think when LeBron talks about that, that’s not confidence, that’s a fact when you look at how he’s carried his team in these Finals. If you look at the numbers, you can really see he is the best player in the world.

“And for me, I feel the same way when I look at the World Rankings and I see my name up at the top. If you look back at the last four or five years, I guess I’ve won more majors [four] than anyone else in that time period.’’

McIlroy isn’t wrong about his place in golf over the past several years. And as should be the case with essentially every tournament in which he competes, he should be considered one of the favorites to hoist the U.S. Open Championship Trophy for the second time come Sunday after he and his colleagues attempt to navigate the intimidating Chambers Bay course in University Place, Wash.

Barring a challenge from potential budding rival Jordan Spieth — or an unlikely career resurgence and charge by either Tiger Woods or Phil Mickelson –McIlroy is without a doubt the most compelling player in the field this week.

As any golfer who has lugged a bag of clubs around a course is well aware, overflowing confidence can go a long way, often translating to hitting straighter drives, tighter approaches and clutch putts, something that will be needed on the treacherous track that is Chambers Bay. And with that in mind, it certainly appears McIlroy is in the right mindset heading into what by all accounts will be a brutally challenging four rounds of golf at the 115th U.S. Open Championship.

(image credit: BBC)