After taking the failures of the entire 2013 season out on his 9-iron at the 13th hole on Merion two weeks ago during the US Open, Rory McIlroy has made his way home to play at the Irish Open this week. His problems have followed him to The Carton House Golf Course in County Kildare where he posted a first round 74 on Thursday. The 24 year-old Ulsterman only managed two birdies on the par 72 layout near Maynooth, and bogeyed two of the par five holes which are considered his money makers.
Rory McIlroy has struggled since dumping his old clubs which earned him the PGA Championship last year at Kiahwah Island, the money title on both, the European Tour, and PGA Tour, The Race To Dubai Championship, and the Byron Nelson award for new Nike Equipment. He joined Tiger Woods as an employee of Nike at Abu Dhabi in January and hasn’t hit a quality shot since.
Amid fanfare that rivaled LeBron James’ announcement to join the Miami Heat, McIlroy missed the cut at Abu Dhabi, and hasn’t been right since. His only bright spots this year, were a fourth round 65 in the final round at The Cadillac Championship during the Florida Swing, and a solid second place finish at The Valero Texas Open just prior to the Masters in April.
McIlroy withdrew from the Honda Classic, citing a toothache(yeah right), and garnered a T 25 finish at The Masters to go along with T 41 at the US Open where he destroyed his 9-iron. The only reason he is still ranked number two in the Official World Golf Rankings(OWGR) is no one is able to run him down. Tiger Woods has won four tournaments this year, and most of the remainder were first time winners on the tour.
I don’t think Rory’s problems are due to his new clubs. He has some flaws in his swing that are kicking his butt, and I question his commitment to wanting to be a winner that could challenge a resurgent Tiger Woods. He also has a Globe-Hopping girlfriend who I suspect is taking a ton of his practice time. “Hello World”.
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