The GrindMay 19, 2015

Rory kicks it into another gear, Tiger's jeans improve, and Miss America shows off her tan lines

Welcome to another edition of The Grind, where we're starting to think this Rory McIlroy guy might turn out to be a decent player. If these last few weeks have taught us anything, it's that Rory has more of an MJ/Tiger competitive streak in him than we thought. Those guys could find a way to be motivated by even the slightest of slights to destroy their opponents, and it appears McIlroy has found that gear since Jordan Spieth's Masters victory prompted many to question the Northern Irishman's future as the World No. 1. On behalf of everyone who was foolish enough to think that and every other golfer in the world. . .

WE'RE BUYING

Rory McIlroy: For years, the Tiger comparisons seemed silly. No one could ever be as dominant as Tiger Woods, right? But McIlroy, at least in spurts, is doing just that. Consider his past 12 months: Seven wins (five on PGA Tour), two majors, and two World Golf Championships. With his latest victory, a seven-shot rout at Quail Hollow, McIlroy has opened up a lead in the Official World Golf Ranking reminiscent of Woods in 2000. McIlroy broke his own course record on Saturday with a 61 and set just about every tournament scoring record with his brilliant performance. With all apologies to Jordan Spieth, we are very much in the Rory Era right now.

If you don't think this guy is going to win a green jacket at some point...

John Daly "30 for 30": Look, we would have settled on ESPN doing a "30 for 30" documentary on anything involving golf, but John Daly? This should be extra fun. The raw talent/power. The major wins. The gambling. The slew of wives. Playing golf shirtless. Playing golf with the most hideous pants ever. The on-course meltdowns. Is one episode enough, or should ESPN consider a Daly mini-series?

Behind the camera: Riding around TPC Sawgrass with Roger Maltbie

Tiger's jeans: We've given Woods a hard time over his choice of jeans through the years, but from what we can tell, his denim game was much improved at this year's Tiger Jam:

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Now about that shirt. . . But onto more positives! Woods had Ed Sheeran as the musical guest, just adding to the charity event's impressive list of musical acts over 17 years. In other words, we're also buying Tiger Jam's concert lineup. We ranked the 17 best acts to ever play the Vegas event because, well, we just did. Check it out.

Golden State Warriors: We love that the NBA's best team just happens to be the most golf-friendly franchise in the league also. After the team lost to go down 2-1 in its second-round series against Memphis, head coach Steve Kerr urged MVP Stephen Curry to go play some golf. Curry and teammate Andre Iguodala obliged and the Warriors responded by crushing the Grizzlies in the next three games to make the franchise's first conference finals since 1976.

WE'RE SELLING

Leaving putts for 59 short: Congrats to Roland Thatcher for shooting 60 on the Web.com Tour on Sunday, but when you have the chance to shoot a 59. . . well, you just can't do this:

To sum up, a 38-year-old journeyman pro shot the best round of his life and he's still getting knocked. Man, golf is rough.

Adam Scott's Olympic views: The Aussie was asked about potentially playing golf in the Olympics next year and he didn't hold back. Scott called it an "exhibition" and said he "wouldn't miss it" if he didn't qualify. Ouch. There are probably plenty of other players who feel the same way, but for the overall good of the game, shouldn't everyone just go along with this? Especially one of the game's biggest stars who is basically a lock to qualify?

Michelle Wie's hip: A bad hip caused Wie to WD in Williamsburg and get a cortisone injection on Monday. On the bright side, it led to one of the tweets of the year:

Cortisone injection ✓ and the nurse gave me a lollipop for not crying 😉 #notwerkingforawhile pic.twitter.com/xVB8TVAFlI

— Michelle Wie (@themichellewie) May 18, 2015

No twerking, but what about working? And as for Wie's new purple hairdo? The jury is still out.

Photos: Meet the WAGs of the PGA Tour

ON TAP

The PGA Tour heads back to Texas for the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial, aka that event with the big Ben Hogan statue.

Related: 15 signs you watch too much golf on TV

Random tournament fact: There was no tournament in 1975 because Colonial hosted the Tournament Players Championship (now the PLAYERS) instead. Yes, they used to play the Players without an island green.

RANDOM PROP BETS OF THE WEEK

-- ESPN will make a "30 for 30" on Roland Thatcher: 1 MILLION-to-1 odds

-- Rory McIlroy will win the U.S. Open: 5-to-1 odds (actual updated odds)

Related: The top 25 golf viral videos in 2014

-- Rory McIlroy will be an even bigger favorite at the 2017 PGA Championship at Quail Hollow: LOCK

VIRAL VIDEO OF THE WEEK

What did Kevin Kisner do after losing two playoffs in three events? "Drank." That and more in this fun interview with a new Grind favorite, the KIZ:

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

"What's Mike Davis' handicap?" -- Rory McIlroy when asked about the USGA executive director's claim players need 10 practice rounds under their belts at Chambers Bay to prepare for the U.S. Open. Rory sounded a bit cocky with that one, but can you blame him? He's Rory McIlroy. Great. Now he might go out to Chambers Bay, play no practice rounds, and win by 10 shots just to prove a point. (By the way, Rory, Davis' handicap is 3.4 according to GHIN).

THIS WEEK IN MODELS PLAYING GOLF

Not just any model, but MISS AMERICA:

Magic hour in Greenville, SC. #ILoveMyJR for tonight's pairings party presented by Synex. @josephribkoff #JosephRibkoff #ThereSheIs #MissAmerica2015 @bmwcharityproam #BMWCharityProAm #GolfTanRealness #SouthCarolina

A photo posted by Miss America Kira Kazantsev (@missamericaorg) on May 13, 2015 at 8:56pm PDT

Kira Kazantsev played in the BMW Charity Pro-Am on the Web.com Tour, her third charity golf event in the past month. Notice how she mentions her golf tan lines. Apparently, she's got some game and she's also a big fan of re-popularizing the "raising the roof" celebration. Good. We miss that one. And here is Kira dressed up for a night out during the tournament.

THIS WEEK IN RICKIE FOWLER-ALEXIS RANDOCK PUBLIC DISPLAYS OF AFFECTION

How do you have a better week than winning the Players if you're Rickie Fowler? By taking your model girlfriend to the Bahamas to celebrate, of course.

Dinner on the beach in the Bahamas celebrating my mans huge win!! Rickie- your hard work and perseverance shined through on Sunday for an epic win that will go down in history. I couldn't be more proud of you!!! #PlayersChampion 🏆❿ᅬ

A photo posted by Alexis Randock (@alexis.randock) on May 13, 2015 at 6:10pm PDT

THIS WEEK IN FORMER PGA TOUR WAGS

Lindsey Vonn looks to be in good spirits following her breakup with Tiger. She used the free time she had from not attending Tiger Jam to work on her equestrian skills and it looks like she fared better than the horse I bet on at the Preakness Stakes:

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THIS WEEK IN JUSTIN ROSE MAKING US FEEL BAD WITH HIS TRAINING

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That looks painful.

THIS AND THAT

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Minjee Lee, 18, won her first LPGA Tour event at Kingsmill. Wait, she's already 18? What took her so long? . . . Speaking of firsts, congrats to Jeff Maggert on winning his first Champions Tour major at the Regions Tradition. What took him so long? . . . Lost in Rory's dominant win was the superb runner-up performance by Patrick Rodgers, 22. A former World Amateur No. 1, he's another young gun who has been mentioned as a guy who could potentially challenge Rory in the future. Sorry, Patrick. Rory has you in his sights now. . . . And check out this beautiful painting of Rory decked out in Nike. Just look at that powerful, but balanced follow-through. Oh, wait, that's me! Thanks to my dad for painting this fantastic portrait of me hitting yet another pure shot at North Berwick. He's retired and has plenty of time so Rory, I'm sure he'd paint one for you too if you'd like.

RANDOM QUESTIONS TO PONDER

How often does Jeff Maggert think about the 2003 Masters?

When will Rory not be ranked No. 1 again?

When is that John Daly "30 for 30" coming out?

-- Alex Myers is an Associate Editor for GolfDigest.com. Feel free to email him and please follow him on Twitter since he has self-esteem issues.