U.S. Opens are supposed to be hard right? Red numbers are supposed to be at a premium, with the course always set up to be the truest test of golf. Long, thick rough, fast greens, tight fairways. Nobody is supposed to win by eight strokes. Nobody’s supposed to shoot 16 shots better than par. Well enter young Rory McIlroy who dispelled all of those things this past weekend. At just over 22 years old McIlroy is now the youngest winner of the U.S. Open (after WWII). He made it look easy. Too easy. Shooting all four rounds under 70 and leaving the competition in the dust, and one can’t help to wonder…Is he the next “Tiger Woods”? Personally, I’m sick of hearing that question. What Woods has done and done for the game will forever be unmatched. But  with Woods on the shelf with an injury and a golf game that is suffering, and an aging Mickelson, McIlroy could very well be the savior the game needs at this point. A jolt of youth that actually wins tournaments.

His close friend and fellow countryman Graeme McDowell seems to agree that McIlroy is just what the game needs right now. “He’s a breath of fresh air for the game and perhaps we’re ready for golf’s next superstar and maybe Rory is it,” McDowell said.

Lets also not discount what another youngster has accomplished in these past two majors as well. Australian Jason Day at the ripe old age of 23 has now finished in second place in the last two majors and he looks poised to take home one himself in the not so distant future.

With McIlroy it’s really hard not to like and root for him. He carries just the right amount of swagger and cockiness on the course, but balances it with grace and humbleness off it. A couple months back I made a statement regarding how difficult it is to win majors, and with how deep the talent pool is now, that more than likely you wouldn’t see someone win upwards of 6 or 7 majors in a career. Can I retrack that statement now?

For more by Jeff Palopoli, read his blog at www.goodwalkgolf.com