McIlroy to take baton from Woods
R&A chief executive Peter Dawson feels Rory McIlroy will go on to have the same impact in the game as Tiger Woods.
The 22-year-old recently regained his number one world ranking without hitting a ball as Luke Donald's joint 37th place at the RBC Heritage saw him slip from the summit. He has already claimed a major with a sensational victory at the 2011 US Open and will be favourite to repeat the dose when the year's second major gets under way in San Francisco on June 14. The Northern Irishman looked like taking his first major at last year's Masters, only to blow a four-shot, final-round lead to finish way down the field. But it was the way in which he responded to that adversity that won him many plaudits and the talented youngster has gone from strength to strength. Dawson had been aware of McIlroy's talent for a number of years, having seen him perform as an amateur, and he admits it is satisfying to watch a player fulfil his potential in an era of continual success for European stars. "It's very gratifying to see someone we've seen from his amateur days and played in a lot of events come through like this," he said. "It's a wonderful time for British golf and European golf, having so many players from these islands and the continent of Europe doing so well." Dawson is relishing the head-to-head clashes between McIlroy and Woods and feels the Holywood-born star is the man who will define the next era of golf, while making it clear that Woods is not done yet and can still draw the crowds. "Rory and Tiger are the two that they are most interested in," he added. "So you're really seeing the old guard in Tiger, he's only mid-30s, isn't he, and the young Rory. "Every generation has its stars, and Rory is going to be this one, I'm sure."