Anyone who know me, knows that I have always been a Rory McIlroy fan. Even with that said, I felt when he stood with Cindy Davis from Nike at the big unveiling in Abu Dhabi, that the relationship had disaster written all over it. Rory had just come off the best season of his career(he was only 23 years old), he won the money title on both tours, he won The Race To Dubai including the DP World Tours Championship, and the Harry Vardon Trophy for scoring average. Why make all of these changes at once?
Let’s face it, Tiger Woods is wired for this kind of pressure, Rory McIlroy is not. Since the “Lebron James Announcement” style of unveiling and his employment at Nike, Rory has dropped to fourth in Official World Golf Rankings(OWGR), and has only been in contention for a win one time in 2013. That coming at The Valero Texas Open in San Antonio.
You can read in detail about his failures this year at pgatour.com in an article penned by Brian Wacker. One Year Later, McIlroy hoping to salvage season at The Deutsche Bank . I agree with Brian’s assessment of the situation, but wanted to add a couple of points.
Rory McIlroy is the forgotten player at TPC Boston this week. I have been to fantasy pick sites, and was amazed that no one is giving the young Ulstermen any kind of chance to defend his 2012 title. I’m not sure I would wager too much on him, but I don’t want to count him out either.
McIlroy has been known to break out of a slump in a hurry. He can go from worst to first overnight as he proved in 2012 when he missed multiple cuts and steam rolled everyone at Kiahwah Island only to go on and win everything in golf except for the FedEx Cup.
Only a week after he walked off the golf course at The Honda, Rory put together a final round 65 at the WGC-Cadillac to finish tied for eighth. He has played well enough this season to pick up five top tens, and seven top 25′s. He has won $1.7 Million Dollars, and made the FedEx Cup. Some golfers would love to have those numbers on a good year, let alone a down year.
We have seen an improvement in Rory’s attitude of late. I agree with Mr. Wacker that the arrangement with Nike may well have put too much pressure on a kid who was only 23 years-old, and the game he loves became a job. We have to remember, he is only 24 years old, and hit his prime well ahead of many of the greats in the game.
He is going to find his confidence soon, maybe this week at The Deutsche Bank, and when he does, there will be more championships, and majors in his future. All it will take is one shot. You know….The Come Back Shot!