Originally written on Fox Sports  |  Last updated 3/5/12

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)
If only Rory McIlroy had been born 10 years earlier, or Tiger Woods a decade later. What a rivalry they could've had, maybe up there with Jack and Arnie, Ali and Frazier, Federer and Nadal, Magic and Bird. But Woods is 36 and up against the clock as he searches for the champion he once was; McIlroy is 14 years his junior, scratching the surface of his vast potential, safe in the knowledge that he has the next 20 years to get it right. Their rivalry, then, may not have longevity on its side, but if Sunday's unforgettable finish to the Honda Classic is any indication, it still may provide days that fathers will tell their sons about. It wasn't surprising that McIlroy -- on a windy Sunday afternoon in South Florida -- became the youngest No. 1 since Woods reached the top of the world rankings as a 21-year-old in 1997. Given his prodigious talent, it was always going to be his fate. But it was the way the curly-haired kid from Holywood -- outside of Belfast -- achieved his dream t...
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