Ian Poulter wasn’t surprised by Rory McIlroy's ability to bounce straight back from his Masters nightmare and secure the U.S. Open.
"Look at his first rounds in majors. It was a case of when, not if,” Poulter, said Poulter as he prepared for the Travelers Championship on Wednesday. "He's as good a ball-striker as I've ever seen, he swings it naturally -- there's not much technically he needs to worry about."
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Playing at 6,841 yards, TPC River Highlands is the third-shortest course on the PGA Tour this year. Only Pebble Beach and Monterey Peninsula CC play shorter.
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While McIlroy won by eight at Congressional, Poulter missed the halfway cut, but the world No. 14 is the second highest-ranked player in this week's field behind defending champion Bubba Watson.
Also playing are Jim Furyk , Padraig Harrington and Geoff Ogilvy, who was simply in awe of McIlroy's ball-striking.
"He hit 62 of 72 greens at the U.S. Open," said the 2006 winner. "There's no way I could ever do that.
"Not too many people can do that, especially after the Masters, when everyone probably would have given him the year off,” he added. "Two months later he was playing like it never happened -- amazing.
"He's just clearly better than anyone else,” said Ogilvy. “There's so few really class ball-strikers out here -- I know that sounds silly, but real class ball-strikers like Nick Price and Greg Norman. Greg Norman in the mid-80s is who he is. He just completely outplays everyone with no fear. Some people are being aggressive and they're just cavalier. He's not cavalier."