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The legend of Rory

It's official: on August 11, 2011, Rory McIlroy, with one hand, was better than Tiger Woods with two.

By now you've heard that McIlroy hurt his wrist Thursday when hit an ill- advised shot from a tree root. The impact jarred his wrist and sent pain anywhere in the arm vicinity, but he didn't stop.

McIlroy, who obliterated the field en route to victory at the U.S. Open, got treatment two holes later, and when the therapist said he couldn't do more damage, the 22-year-old chugged on.

He actually played his round in even-par 70. McIlroy was seven behind Steve Stricker, but seven ahead of Woods and definitely in contention. How could anyone expect a 63 on a tough day like that at Atlanta Athletic Club?

"To be honest, that I finished with one hand, I hit some good shots," McIlroy said after Thursday's first round. "It's a very important tournament, and I'm still even-par. I'm still in the hunt."

McIlroy had the MRI, it was just a strain, and rested to see what the morning brought.

"To be honest, when I woke up this morning, it was stiff, but it wasn't as painful," McIlroy said. "Yeah, I hit a few shots on the range and it was fine, and I felt as if I was okay to go out and play."

And he did, once again with his wrist and forearm taped like he was about to mix it up in the Octagon. Sadly, the result wasn't as good on day two.

McIlroy shot a three-over 73 and fell down the leaderboard, but the legend of Rory McIlroy will only grow larger.

"If it wasn't a major, I probably would have stopped yesterday," McIlroy admitted on Friday.

A wrist injury is no joke for a golfer. Arron Oberholser looked like he was going to make the leap into a major-caliber player. He hurt his wrist and has never been the same.

And professional golfers don't tend to gut out injuries like other sportsmen. That's not a knock on golfers, but it's just that most times, they don't have to deal with as many impactful, nagging injuries as other athletes do.

So what McIlroy has done has been impressive. He's gutting it out because he respects how significant this championship is. That's commendable, but it seems we've all gone a little too far with the praise.

Listening to the announcers on Thursday, you'd have thought this rivaled Joe Theismann or even Buster Posey this year. I've re-watched McIlroy's swing 20 times since it happened, and I've never watched either of the previous incidents a second time.

Granted, a football injury and a guy getting trucked at home plate are violent circumstances, but the way we heard about McIlroy, you'd have thought his arm was dangling off.

Serious injuries in golf have happened, but we never learned the severity until after. Tiger Woods played 91 holes on a broken leg and won the U.S. Open. McIlroy has a strained tendon in his wrist and is 10 shots back.

To be fair, McIlroy hasn't begged for the adulation or credit. He's getting it because he looked like he was in bad shape and persevered.

This wasn't Willis Reed or Kurt Gibson's home run on one leg or Curt Schilling's bloody sock. It's an impressive feat, but nothing that warranted the excessive gushing it's gotten.

Next time, Rory, just pitch out.