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Rory McIlroy Turned Doubters Into Believers With His U.S. Open Win

Twenty-two-year-old Rory McIlroy from Northern Ireland is the talk of the country — and perhaps several countries — today after his runaway 16-under-par victory Sunday in the 2011 U.S. Open at Congressional Country Club outside of Washington, D.C.

Count Matt Gogel, former University of Kansas and PGA Tour golfer and now an analyst at the Golf Channel, among those heaping praise on McElroy. Interviewed today by 810 Sports Radio’s Kevin Keitzman on Keitzman’s “Beyond the Lines” program, Gogel said he is very impressed with McElroy not just because of his exceptional play recently but because of the way he handles himself both on and off the golf course.

Gogel said he thought it was McElroy’s goal to become the best golfer in the world, and that he could get there by the end of the year.

Another former Kansas Jayhawk, Gary Woodland, finished tied for tenth at this year’s U.S. Open, firing a three-under-par 68 on Sunday for a four-round total of 285, one-over for the tournament and 17 shots back of McIlroy.

The importance of Woodland’s placing is that the top ten finishers and ties automatically qualify for next year’s U.S. Open.