By John Strege
Did Rory McIlroy win the British Open on Saturday, turning the final round into a victory lap? At least two analysts think so.
“It’s more than just a numerical advantage,” GolfChannel’s Brandel Chamblee said Saturday night. “It speaks to the insane amount of talent and belief somebody has to have to build a lead that quickly that large over a field that good. It’s over with an exclamation point.”
McIlroy will take a six-stroke lead over Rickie Fowler into the final round.
Chamblee’s GolfChannel colleague Tripp Isenhour concurs that it’s over.
“I’m reminded of a guy with a swoosh on his chest that was swooshing around these par fives eight years ago, dominating, dismantling these par fives,” Isenhour said. “Tiger Woods was 10-under par on the par fives through 54 holes. Rory McIlroy one-upped him. He’s 11-under on these par fives. Power and precision is taking these par fives apart. If it’s close going into the back nine he can separate himself.
"I expect him to go on to become the 10th player with six or more shots in the bag going into the final round to go and ultimately win this championship.”
Only Steve Flesch among the GolfChannel panelists said there's still a chance, with a caveat. "I still think there's a chance somebody can come back and win. It’s not over, but somebody is going to have to pressure him on the front nine you never know," Flesch said, "you never know."