McIlroy has joined pantheon of greats: Torrance

Thu Oct 9, 2014 12:24pm EDT
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By Tony Jimenez

LONDON (Reuters) - Rory McIlroy's accomplishments this season have helped him join Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Seve Ballesteros among the pantheon of golfing greats, according to former European Ryder Cup captain Sam Torrance.

Torrance, who was able to get a close-up view of the way the world number one operates when he worked as a deputy to victorious captain Paul McGinley in the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles last month, said he was mesmerized by what he saw.

"Rory is as good as I've seen in a long, long time," the 61-year-old Scot told Reuters in an interview. "He's got everything.

"Butch Harmon did an analysis of his swing and every single pinpoint part was in a perfect position," added Torrance, referring to one of the game's leading coaches.

"I don't think Rory can get much better and I fancy him to win any tournament he plays in. Every 10 or 20 years someone like him comes along.

"Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Seve Ballesteros, Lee Trevino, Nick Faldo, these guys only come along every once in a while and Rory has now arrived and is here to stay."

McIlroy won this year's British Open and U.S. PGA Championship, taking his total of major victories to four, and was an integral member of the European team that beat the U.S. by 16 1/2 points to 11 1/2 at the Ryder Cup.

The 25-year-old Northern Irishman was the star of the show in the final-day singles, firing seven birdies and an eagle in a spectacular 14-hole burst to dispatch Rickie Fowler 5 & 4.   Continued...

Sep 28, 2014;  Auchterarder, Perthshire, SCT; Team Europe vice captain Sam Torrance (right) with Team Europe player Rory McIlroy after they retained the Ryder Cup  at Gleneagles Resort - PGA Centenary Course. Mandatory Credit: Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY