PGA Tour Confidential: Rory McIlroy wins Deutsche Bank Championship

Rory McIlroy, final round, 2012 Deutsche Bank Championship
Jim Rogash / Getty Images
Rory McIlroy won the Deutsche Bank by one shot for his third victory of the season.

Every Sunday night, the editorial staff of the SI Golf Group conducts an e-mail roundtable. Check in every week for the unfiltered opinions of our writers and editors and join the conversation in the comments section below.

RORY'S PRESENT AND FUTURE
Mark Godich, senior editor, Sports Illustrated: Who said the FedEx Cup was boring? Rory McIlroy, six shots back on the back nine of the third round, rallied to clip Louis Oosthuizen by a shot at the Deutsche Bank Championship. We were pretty hard on Rory during his summer slump. Now he followed up his win at the PGA Championship with another victory, all but wrapping up PGA Tour Player of the Year honors. What's your take on Rory now? Will this springboard him to becoming one of the all-time greats? Or is he just in the midst of a hot streak?

Jim Herre, managing editor, SI Golf Group: Nice win, but not exactly a classic finish. Rory is a big talent, and I love his attitude -- mature beyond his years. Still, I need to see more before putting him in the Hall of Fame.

Alan Shipnuck, senior writer, Sports Illustrated: He continues to mature, on and off the course. This was a transitional season for the young lad, and he's going to be POY. With his improved putting, the sky's the limit.

Ryan Reiterman, senior producer, Golf.com: I think it's unrealistic to expect Rory to be a week-in, week-out killer like Tiger, but is he the favorite to win POY for the next 10 years? Absolutely.

John Garrity, contributing writer, Sports Illustrated: Rory looks like an all-time great to me. He won this week with his B-game and terrific putting. He's not just streaky.

Michael Bamberger, senior writer, Sports Illustrated: I think he'll be one of the all-time greats, but talk's cheap. As Palmer said of Tiger years ago, when asked if he could reach 18 majors: "Yes, but let's not just hand it to him. He's got to do it."

Jeff Ritter, senior producer, Golf.com: I think Rory's career arc was pointing toward all-time-great status even before the past month. If nothing else, I think we can safely say that we've moved away from the "Age of Parity" and squarely into the Rory Era.

David Dusek, deputy editor, Golf.com: I'm a huge believer in Rory, but it's impossible, and in some ways unfair, to keep wondering if a 23-year-old is the next Tiger or Jack. Is he amazingly talented? Without a doubt. Is he on pace to do some historically significant things? Obviously. But I don't think winning the Deutsche Bank a month after the PGA means it's time to ask about him being a potential all-time great.

Garrity: You're right about the comparisons being unfair, David, but let's get real -- the kid has five PGA Tour wins, including two majors, at the age of 23. Mickelson and Hogan didn't win their first majors until they were in their thirties.

Godich: And, lest we forget, he seems to be enjoying life. Remember when we were questioning whether he was focused enough? Guess we know the answer to that.

Gary Van Sickle, senior writer, Sports Illustrated: Yeah, Rory is on a hot streak. It's called his career. We're already into the Rory Era. He's a great fit for American target-style golf courses. And he's now your Player of the Year.

Stephanie Wei, contributor, SI Golf+: I've been bullish on Rory, so I'm going to stick with what I've said from day 1 -- he's ridiculously talented and no doubt will become one of the all-time greats.

Cameron Morfit, senior writer, Golf Magazine: Rory won Monday the way Tiger won many times: not at his best, but good enough. That in itself speaks to his dominance.

Tell us what you think in the comments section below: Is this the dawn of the Rory Era, or is the 23-year-old just on a hot streak?

FEDEX ASSESSMENT
Reiterman: It's hard to imagine that last year McIlroy and Westwood were turning their noses up at the FedEx Cup. Now they're both residents of Florida, and McIlroy is on his way to becoming $10 million richer.

Van Sickle: The FedEx Cup is boring. The individual tournaments aren't, but the so-called playoffs are. Big difference.

Godich: I don't know about that, Gary. I like the tournament within the tournament, though I could do without the projections on how a bogey in the middle of the second round affects a player's FedEx standing.

Bamberger: It's not that the FedEx Cup is boring; it's that it makes no sense. It's not anyone's idea of a real playoff, not anyone I know.

Garrity: I, too, find the point system opaque. Funny thing, though. My 11-year-old grandson was watching this afternoon, and he immediately grasped that the green box with the number in it had to be 70 or less for a player to advance. Maybe we're old dogs balking at new tricks.

Wei: It does get somewhat interesting to golf geeks with the guys on the bubble in the final round.

Herre: As Shipnuck pointed out earlier in the week, some of the most compelling stories are at the bottom of the field during the playoffs. The Charley Hoffman storyline certainly added to Monday's show. Nice job by NBC.

Dusek: I listened to the tournament on XM while driving from Connecticut back into New York. All the players the hosts talked to knew their positions coming down the stretch -- Aaron Baddeley, Dicky Pride, Josh Teater -- but honestly, they had all season to collect points and avoid being on the top-70 bubble. It's too contrived for me.

Van Sickle: It would be more compelling if Charley Hoffman actually knew his putt on the 18th was to make or miss the playoffs. (Afterward, he said he had "no clue.") But with the points system so complex, that rarely, if ever, happens. NBC can try all they want, but they can't make me care whether Charley Hoffman ranks 69th or 71st going into the next week. There's no drama when the guy has no idea where he stands.

Herre: My only criticism of the playoffs is that guys can take a week off and not get hurt in the standings. This week, Sergio. Last week, The Duf. This week ...

Wei: The atmosphere here this week was the most relaxed it's been on Tour since March or April. I don't remember the last time the players, other than the half dozen or so trying to get a captain's pick, seemed this laid back. As Robert Garrigus said, "We're playing for $8 million, and there are 100 players in the field. It's pretty lax if you ask me." The guys here had already secured their cards, and the majority were just happy to still be playing. Even Chris Kirk, who played his way in, said he didn't feel too much pressure going into the week, and now at the BMW he can really free-wheel it.

Tell us what you think in the comments section below: Did McIlroy's win give you FedEx fever?

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