The boy McIlroy set to become a man
Rory McIlroy looks set to carry on exactly where he left off as one of the brightest new talents that golf has seen in sometime.
The 19 year old put in yet another fantastic display in the Hong Kong open which saw him pipped in a play off by Lin Wen-Tang who pulled off a truly spectacular shot out of the trees to ultimately sink the Northern Irishman.
On the back of this performance McIlroy has moved up to 50th in the world rankings.
The Race To Dubai has replaced the European Tour Order of Merit where the top 60 Tour players at the end of the season will vie for $10 million prize fund at the Dubai World Championship.
While 66/1 may not put him right among the market leaders, it is a testament to McIlroy's talents that he is trading at the same price as Ryder Cuppers, Graeme McDowell, Hunter Mahan, Justin Leonard and last years Masters winner Trevor Immelman.
McIlroy only turned professional in 2007 and wasted no time in displaying his talents with an excellent third in the Dunhill Links Championship followed by a fourth in the Madrid Open which made him the youngest Affiliate Member in the history of the European Tour to earn a tour card.
In 2008 McIlroy has so far managed to card six top 10 finishes and ten top 25 finishes including an agonising second when he took a four shot lead into the final round of the Omega European Masters but ended up losing out to Jean-Francois Lucquin in a play off.
He will be hoping to emulate another young talent who has been billed as "The new Tiger Woods", from the USA named Anthony Kim. 23 year old Kim turned professional only a year before McIlroy and is really holding his own having chalked up two victories and numerous top tens.
It may only be his third year as a professional but Kim is up to ninth in the world rankings and is 20/1 for The Open and 25/1 for the Race To Dubai. It seemed once that first win came for Kim his confidence was boosted and he then knew he had the ability to hold onto leads which currently is alluding McIlroy.
Experience will eventually get Rory over the finish line in first place as it has been said by many that he is a special talent and composes himself with a swagger and confidence that gives you no doubt this 19 year old is a very special talent.
If he continues to improve at the rate he is then the 66/1 available for him to win the Open is going to look huge come next July.