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An open letter to Rory McIlroy from the media

Photo: Fred Vuich/SI

Rory McIlroy won the U.S. Open by eight shots.

My Dearest Rory,

Hi, it's me ... the ... the ... the media. Sorry I'm stammering — it's just that I've been meaning to tell you something, and it's been kind of hard to find the right time, especially with that stunt you pulled on the back nine at Augusta. LOL!!! But I, well, I...I...I — okay, here goes...

I like you.

I mean I like you like you. :)

Perhaps you've picked up on that over the last few days, although I stay up at night worrying that my subtle advances have gone unnoticed. Did you know that I said your play at Congo emanated "an inescapable sense of history in the making"? Or that your win officially ushered in "Golf's New Era"? And did you see that editorial I wrote in one of the British papers, the one headlined "In Praise of ... Rory McIlroy"? Did you see any of that??? I hope so, because, my God, when you strolled into the media center on Sunday evening — well, I haven't been that excited since Bo Derek jogged across the beach in 10. I mean it! I had to summon all of my journalistic superpowers not to break into song and dance.

You have other admirers, of course. Your pal Graeme McDowell labeled you "the best player I've ever seen." Padraig Harrington said you have a "great chance" to break Jack's major record. Miguel Angel Jimenez predicted that you're going to "rule the game of golf." Even Edna Kenny, the Irish prime minster, chimed in, trumpeting your win as "one of the great achievements in any sport." Please don't let them woo you away from me. What you and I have could be really magical, especially if you keep up those humanitarian missions. They make me weak in the knees.

Here's the thing, Rors. It's been hard without Tig ... sorry, I promised myself I wouldn't mention him. :( But there can be no secrets between you and me. You must know everything. There's been this hole, this sadness, this ... emptiness since TW dropped me like a five-foot putt. Sure, I've had other flings. But they've been with guys named Louis and Charl. Like those could last??? And then along you came, with that mop of curls and that bouncy gait and that impeccable swing and that bubbly demeanor. What I'm trying to say, Rory, is that you're my 14th club, my 18th hole, my perfectly grilled bacon in my club sandwich. (Am I coming on too strong?)

And yet ... where do we go from here? The eight-shot win was a thrilling first date, and I LOVED that you tweeted out a picture of you and me talking at the end of the night. I fear, though, that the pitter-patter in my heart won't last. That other guy also won his first major in stirring fashion — by 12 shots — and in the ensuing five years he won seven more majors. Yes, he could be cold, curt and dismissive, especially when things got really bad between us. But I kind of liked that rebellious streak. At the very least it kept things interesting.

Can you compete with all that? Can you bring the steak and the sizzle? Do you have the drive, the focus, the single-mindedness to do what he has done? And what happens when he comes back? Jeez, I hadn't even considered that. How awkward will that be? I mean, if you're the new him, where does that leave him? And please don't get all huffy if I try to talk to him, because I'm totally going to ask him what he thinks of you — in fact, I'm relishing that! I'd also love to know if he was watching on Sunday, if you reminded him of his glory days, if you inspired him. (Of course he'd never to cop to any of that. He'll probably say that he missed it, that he was out in the yard playing with his kids.)

And don't worry, I won't tell him about us, although ... OMG!!! ... do you think he already knows? Does he read the papers? Does he watch the Golf Channel? If he was listening closely enough he might have even heard the chants of "Ro-ry! Ro-ry!" echoing off the Congressional clubhouse. How will he handle all that? Is he ready to be No. 2 behind a guy with three professional wins? Is he ready to cede the future? Or is the future already upon us?

I guess this whole thing is more complicated than I realized. I mean, don't get me wrong — I'm totally into you, Rors. And I want to give us a chance. But maybe we should take things slow. I'd hate to look back years from now and realize that you were merely a rebound. You deserve better than that.

Hugs and kisses,

The Media

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