Originally posted on FOX Sports  |  Last updated 2/27/12

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FL - MAY 05: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland smiles during a practice round prior to the start of THE PLAYERS Championship held at THE PLAYERS Stadium course at TPC Sawgrass on May 5, 2010 in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
The Rory era is coming. Of that, there can be little doubt. It should've arrived -- officially -- on a sun-soaked Sunday afternoon in the Sonoran Desert. The precocious Rory McIlroy had a gilt-edged opportunity to become the new world No. 1, a position many of the savants believe to be his destiny. It is curious, and not a little disconcerting, that his coronation has had to be postponed. Second-ranked McIlroy, who is 16 months older than Tiger Woods was when he first ascended to the top of the world rankings, had done the hard work. He'd come back from 3 down after four holes to comfortably dispose of his one-time good mate -- and now fierce rival -- Lee Westwood, a man he'd never beaten head-to-head, in the semifinals of the Match Play Championships at Dove Mountain. Emotionally, it was no easy task, as any man who's had to go to battle against an older brother -- and these two were once as close as brothers -- knows. To finish the job, to win his first World Golf Champion...
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