The ultimate margin of victory may have come as a bit of a shock but for Rory McIlroy's fellow competitors in the 111th US Open the 22-year-old Northern Irishman's eight-shot win came as no real surprise. As soon as the then 18-year-old left the amateur ranks in September 2007 it was obvious to his professional peers that in their midst was a special talent. And by 2009 the word was definitely out.
"Better than Tiger Woods at the same age," was former Open champion Mark O'Meara's verdict. The 2006 US Open champion, Geoff Ogilvy, was just as impressed. "Rory is by far the best young player I've ever played with," said the Australian. Ernie Els kept it short and sweet: "The next No1."