1. He’s probably the best ball striker in the world
2. He plays an entertaining brand of golf
Rory is a power player, he’s second on TOUR for approaches beyond 200 yards. Seeing him with a 3-iron in hand can be miraculous. He has that special ability to carry his long irons and get them to stop, it’s truly mesmerising to watch.
3. Which can sometimes lead to human displays like this
Rory doesn’t have the temperament of Jordan Spieth or Jason Day. He’s 100th in overall putting and would be the first to admit it’s the part of his game that lets him down. As a spectator we feel degree of empathy, watching Rory occasionally produce an amateurish display on the green is something that brings us closer to him.
4. He hits it huge
Rory is a little over 5’9″ and weighs 163 pounds. He may not be the biggest out there but he makes up for that with a driver in his hand. He is 13th on the PGA TOUR driving averages, and many agree that few people get close to his distance and accuracy when he’s on form. Hard work in the gym has given him an edge over many of his rivals.
5. He loves a drink
6. A lot
7. He bosses Twitter
Many golfers just fill their twitter accounts with prosaic bullshit about how much they love their sponsors, not Rory. He will engage with fans, take a swipe at someone he doesn’t like and generally project an authentic image of his personality.
He’ll stand by his caddie when “worthless” commentators give their opinion…
He’ll banter with players when they get a bit above their station…
He’s not afraid to joke about Tiger Woods’ tiny calves…
8. He does what he wants
People couldn’t wait to give their opinion when Rory broke his ankle playing football. It’s easy to sit on your keyboard and say he should be more responsible when it comes to preparation, but ultimately he is his own master. We rarely hear Rory talk about “we” or “us” – as is golf’s modern tendency. Rory talks about “my” game and what’s best for “me”. He has a level of agency that is missing from many players.
Social traction is hardly a barometer for popularity, but there’s a reason why more people engage with the 27-year-old than any other golfer. He remains a fan favourite with a worldwide appeal. Happy Birthday Rors.