Top 100 Teachers: Rory Is the Most Talented Member of the Big Three

Top 100 Teachers: Rory Is the Most Talented Member of the Big Three

Rory McIlroy on the Silverado Resort North Course during the final round of the Open.
AP Photo / Eric Risberg

Golf’s so-called “New Big Three” is loaded with talent, but who has the most? We asked our Top 100 Teachers to find out.

They were not inclined to agree with Hank Haney’s assessment that Jason Day is the best player of the trio; only 27 percent thought Day possesses the most “raw talent.” Jordan Spieth slid into last place in the poll with just 7 percent of the vote.

Although he pronounced Day the best player of the group, Haney also had kind words for Spieth, noting his sense of determination and putting skills. He wasn’t so nice to McIlroy, saying that he wonders about the Northern Irish golfer’s motivation, and implying that McIlroy is too dependent on external pressures to succeed.  

Speaking of outside pressure, the USGA reformed some of its least logical rules when it announced recently that it was implementing four changes to its rulebook. We asked the teachers what they thought about the changes—and their answers revealed the positives beyond the controversy around the ban on anchoring and the question of incorrect scorecards. Forty percent were happy about the withdrawal of the rule that ordered a penalty if the ball moved after address, even if the player had not touched it.  

Meanwhile, in Europe, there has been much discussion of the European Tour’s own rules, especially following Ian Poulter’s various maneuvers to save his Ryder Cup eligibility. Fifty-three percent of the teachers agreed with Poulter (who spoke about this issue last week) that the current policy that Europeans must play at least 13 European Tour events in order to play in the Ryder Cup is a fair one. In recent years, some players have given up their membership to play in the PGA Tour instead, and there has been talk that the number of required events should be reduced to 11.