As we gear up for The Honda Classic this weekend in Palm Beach Gardens, it’s time to take a hard look at the defending champion. Much has been said and written this spring about Rory McIlroy since becoming part of the Nike family, and in particular, his struggles with the equipment change. The talk started before he missed the cut at Abu Dhabi, and got even more press since he was ousted by Junior Golf partner and boyhood friend Shane Lowry in the first round of the Accenture Match Play on Friday.
Most of the old timers, turned talking heads, such as Nick Faldo, and Johnny Miller have sung the song of doom for the youngster from Northern Ireland, reminding us of past horror stories , including the demise of David Duval. David Duval was a victim of not only an equipment change, but a change in phisique, and the arrival of Tiger Woods. I tend to dispel the coincidence as just that, a coincidence.
Does anyone remember last summer? After a very good spring where he finished second at the WGC Match Play event at Dove Mountain, he went on a mini run, wining at the Honda Classic, finished alone in third place at the WGC-Cadillac, and a T 2 at The Wells Fargo Championship. He just never got going at Augusta and ended his hopes for a Green Jacket in a tie for 40th place. Then he missed the cut at The Players Championship.
Rory McIlroy went into a tailspin where the talk turned to girlfriend problems. He was jetting around the world in attempt to keep up with his girl friend, tennis star Caroline Wozniacki, he wasn’t working on his golf game, he was a flash in the pan. On the PGA Tour alone, he missed the cut at the Players Championship, The Memorial, and again at the US Open.
On the European Tour, he was tied 60th at the British Open, and missed the cut at The BMW PGA Championship. Everyone on the planet thought Rory McIlroy was done. Then he went to Kiahwah Island. After winning his second major, he went on to finish first on the money list for both tours, won the Vardon Trophy, as well as the Race To Dubai.
So I have to ask. Does the current problem with Rory McIlroy’s golf game have to do with his equipment, his girlfriend, or is he just in a slump? If have to turn to the history books, and look at the careers of Tiger, Jack, and other great players in this game. They didn’t win every tournament they played, they had up and down weeks, months, and years. What is going on with Rory at this time is normal. It is the normal ebb and flow of one’s life. Rory is in the down cycle of his golf game bio-rhythm.
I wouldn’t let Rory’s slump lull you to sleep. He has too much talent, and will adapt to his new equipment. When he does, we, the fans will have our much anticipated Rory Tiger match-ups this summer. I for one, can’t wait. I know it is not a matter of if, but a matter of when, that Rory will catch fire again. Maybe as soon as this weekend.
Be sure to like our Pro Golf Now Facebook page, and follow on Twitter @ProGolfNow