Saturday 23 September 2017

Graeme McDowell: Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth are so different which makes it more exciting

Defending champion Bubba Watson of the U.S. (rear) puts the traditional green jacket on compatriot Jordan Spieth after Spieth won the Masters golf tournament at the Augusta National Golf Course in Augusta, Georgia April 12, 2015. REUTERS/Jim Young
Defending champion Bubba Watson of the U.S. (rear) puts the traditional green jacket on compatriot Jordan Spieth after Spieth won the Masters golf tournament at the Augusta National Golf Course in Augusta, Georgia April 12, 2015. REUTERS/Jim Young
Jordan Spieth applauds after winning the Masters championship during the fourth round of the Masters golf tournament Sunday, April 12, 2015, in Augusta, Ga. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Jordan Spieth celebrates after winning the Masters golf tournament Sunday, April 12, 2015, in Augusta, Ga. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Jordan Spieth celebrates after winning the Masters golf tournament Sunday, April 12, 2015, in Augusta, Ga. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Jordan Spieth of the U.S. celebrates after sinking his putt on the 18th hole to win during the final round of the Masters golf tournament at the Augusta National Golf Course in Augusta, Georgia April 12, 2015. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
Jordan Spieth of the U.S. celebrates after sinking his putt on the 18th hole to win during the final round of the Masters golf tournament at the Augusta National Golf Course in Augusta, Georgia April 12, 2015. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
Jordan Spieth of the U.S. walks past Justin Rose of Britain (R) after winning the Masters during final round play of the Masters golf tournament at the Augusta National Golf Course in Augusta, Georgia April 12, 2015. REUTERS/Jim Young
Jordan Spieth applauds after winning the Masters championship during the fourth round of the Masters golf tournament Sunday, April 12, 2015, in Augusta, Ga. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Jordan Spieth of the U.S.celebrates after sinking his putt on the 18th hole to win during the final round of the Masters golf tournament at the Augusta National Golf Course in Augusta, Georgia April 12, 2015. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
Jordan Spieth speaks with his caddie Michael Greller on the 15th hole during the fourth round of the Masters golf tournament Sunday, April 12, 2015, in Augusta, Ga. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Jordan Spieth celebrates after a birdie on the 15th hole during the fourth round of the Masters golf tournament Sunday, April 12, 2015, in Augusta, Ga. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Phil Casey

Graeme McDowell believes Jordan Spieth may not be the only rival Rory McIlroy has to face as he looks to complete the career grand slam and add more majors to his collection.

McIlroy's fourth place in the Masters is his best finish in seven appearances, while his 12 under par total was 12 shots better than last year and beat his previous best by eight shots.

But the world number one never threatened to claim a first green jacket to become only the sixth player in history to win all four major titles and saw Spieth follow up his second place at Augusta 12 months ago with a record-breaking victory.

"There are a lot of potential eras evolving," McDowell said. "Guys like Rickie Fowler and Dustin Johnson and Patrick Reed. I feel like the young blood is certainly strong here in the States as opposed to the rest of the world. I feel like they certainly have the young potential coming through and it's very good for the game.

"When you look at Ryder Cups I think it makes it very interesting for them. I think our nucleus remains the same going forward but they have a lot of potential young blood coming through which could really change the shape of their team.

"Jordan and Rory are very difficult to compare because they are so different. I think it's a good thing to see a guy coming through who is not Dustin or Rory, guys like that who are dominating with physicality.

"We see a guy coming around who is average build, average size, hits it average distance. He's not short but he's not the longest player on the planet and he gets it done other ways. That's exciting."

Spieth was ranked 44th in driving distance with an average of 282 yards, with Johnson (315 yards) top and McIlroy seventh at 297 yards.

"Rory's comparable to Tiger but I don't think Jordan is necessarily comparable to Tiger because of the way he plays the game," McDowell added. "I think Jordan is more comparable to a (Jack) Nicklaus or someone like that which is pretty cool."

McIlroy added: "I played well. I can take a lot of positives from it. It is my best ever finish here. I played the last 45 holes in 15 under par. I did a lot of things I wanted to do.

"I played the par-fives well (14 under). Just left myself too much to do after 27 holes of this golf tournament. Forty on the front nine on Friday, that really left me with an uphill battle. It was just great to get in for the weekend and made the most of a great finish on Friday."

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