BooksFebruary 28, 2015

The Rory McIlroy biographies are starting to pile up

GolfDigest.com will regularly highlight a book that it finds of interest to readers. This week is:

Rory's Glory, by Justin Doyle, foreword by Tony Jacklin, G2 Entertainment Publishing, $19.95, paperback, 166 pages (also in eBook format)

The on-course achievements of Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy through age 25 show great similarity. How do they compare off the course? When it comes to being subject matter for books, Tiger takes down Rory -- in a rout. With this latest book on McIlroy, by my reckoning, that puts his count at five; there were roughly a dozen books done on Woods at the same age.

That speaks to Woods' explosive start to the pursuit of Jack Nicklaus' records in the majors -- unprecedented at such a young age; McIlroy's early career surge doesn't feel as fresh -- Tiger playing the prominent American tour, and his more secretive and guarded nature, which made him a target for interest and scrutiny. By the time Woods turned 25 at the end of 2000, those dozen books included tomes by such writers as Tim Rosaforte and the "John Quartet" of Strege, Garrity, Andrisani, and Feinstein, plus Woods' father Earl. Following Woods' incredible 2000 season, during the next couple years another group of prominent writers including Tom Callahan, David Owen and Steve Eubanks would have their own Woods books.

With "Rory's Glory," you can give Woods the edge in both volume and substance. Doyle, an Irish sports writer, now has done two of the five books on McIlroy, who turns 26 in early May. If he had done one book on Rory Mac to this point, he would have had a better product. The first book -- "Rory McIlroy: His Story So Far" -- went to press in November 2011, several months after McIlroy won his first major at the U.S. Open at Congressional (both books are from G2 Entertainment publishing in the UK). Just 22 and a half, McIlroy's life to that point didn't provide a lot for a biography, just as many of the early books done on Woods were thin in page count and small in dimension.

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The author estimated it took less than three hours to read Rory book No. 1. The second effort has even fewer years of his life to cover, the 2012 to 2014 seasons, and as a result "Rory's Glory" reads like an extensive periodical piece, much of it familiar.

Doyle shows his delight in his subject and is an obvious fan, and rightfully so since McIlroy is universally admired for how he's handled himself as well as performed. And it's to fans of McIlroy that I'd recommend this book. Everyone else might want to try getting a copy of a different Doyle book, his collaboration with another Irishman, Christy O'Connor Jr., on his autobiography, "Christy" (Paperweight Publications). Junior is nephew to legend Christy O'Connor Sr. and is the 1989 European Ryder Cup hero who stunned Fred Couples in singles. That bio came out in 2012 when O'Connor was 64, a robust life worth a book.

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