Latest From GolfDigest.com
Latest From The Loop
Twitter
Feedblitz
To Get GeoffShackelford.com Posts Delivered To Your Inbox Enter Email Address Below:


Powered by FeedBlitz
Books
  • Lines of Charm: Brilliant And Irreverent Quotes, Notes, And Anecdotes from Golf's Golden Age Architects
    Lines of Charm: Brilliant And Irreverent Quotes, Notes, And Anecdotes from Golf's Golden Age Architects
  • The Future of Golf: How Golf Lost Its Way and How to Get It Back
    The Future of Golf: How Golf Lost Its Way and How to Get It Back
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • Grounds for Golf: The History and Fundamentals of Golf Course Design
    Grounds for Golf: The History and Fundamentals of Golf Course Design
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • The Art of Golf Design
    The Art of Golf Design
    by Michael Miller, Geoff Shackelford
  • Alister MacKenzie's Cypress Point Club
    Alister MacKenzie's Cypress Point Club
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • The Golden Age of Golf Design
    The Golden Age of Golf Design
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • The Good Doctor Returns: A Novel
    The Good Doctor Returns: A Novel
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • Masters of the Links: Essays on the Art of Golf and Course Design
    Masters of the Links: Essays on the Art of Golf and Course Design
  • The Captain: George C. Thomas Jr. and His Golf Architecture
    The Captain: George C. Thomas Jr. and His Golf Architecture
    by Geoff Shackelford
Current Reading
  • The Golf Book: Twenty Years of the Players, Shots, and Moments That Changed the Game
    The Golf Book: Twenty Years of the Players, Shots, and Moments That Changed the Game
    by Chris Millard
  • The Forbidden Game: Golf and the Chinese Dream
    The Forbidden Game: Golf and the Chinese Dream
    by Dan Washburn
  • The Early Days of Pinehurst
    The Early Days of Pinehurst
    by Chris Buie
  • Arnie, Seve, and a Fleck of Golf History: Heroes, Underdogs, Courses, and Championships
    Arnie, Seve, and a Fleck of Golf History: Heroes, Underdogs, Courses, and Championships
    by Bill Fields
  • The Magnificent Masters: Jack Nicklaus, Johnny Miller, Tom Weiskopf, and the 1975 Cliffhanger at Augusta
    The Magnificent Masters: Jack Nicklaus, Johnny Miller, Tom Weiskopf, and the 1975 Cliffhanger at Augusta
    by Gil Capps
  • His Ownself: A Semi-Memoir
    His Ownself: A Semi-Memoir
    by Dan Jenkins
Classics
  • Golf Architecture in America: Its Strategy and Construction
    Golf Architecture in America: Its Strategy and Construction
    by Geo. C. Thomas
  • The Course Beautiful : A Collection of Original Articles and Photographs on Golf Course Design
    The Course Beautiful : A Collection of Original Articles and Photographs on Golf Course Design
    Treewolf Prod
  • Reminiscences Of The Links
    Reminiscences Of The Links
    by Albert Warren Tillinghast, Richard C. Wolffe, Robert S. Trebus, Stuart F. Wolffe
  • Gleanings from the Wayside
    Gleanings from the Wayside
    by Albert Warren Tillinghast
  • Planet Golf USA: The Definitive Reference to Great Golf Courses in America
    Planet Golf USA: The Definitive Reference to Great Golf Courses in America
    by Darius Oliver
  • Planet Golf: The Definitive Reference to Great Golf Courses Outside the United States of America
    Planet Golf: The Definitive Reference to Great Golf Courses Outside the United States of America
    by Darius Oliver
Writing And Videos
« Way To Go Swoosh: Tiger Is Back…To Being Controversial | Main | United Brotherhood Wants To Build Merion's U.S. Open Tents »
Tuesday
Mar262013

"Is ego Rory McIlroy's biggest rival?"

In a provocatively titled post--"Is ego Rory McIlroy's biggest rival?"--McIlroy beat writer Brian Keogh provides a longer than normal dose of his wisdom and takes a hard look at the state of Rory McIlroy's game.

Some might view this as over-analysis, but considering the time of year, what's at stake in the next three weeks and the potential for a career setback, I think the dissection of comments and actions is appropriate.

Patently ill-prepared for the start of the season following an all conquering end to the 2012 campaign, the two-time major winner is playing catch up.

Despite what his girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki has described as his almost obsessive love for the gym, the Ulsterman’s work ethic is as sporadic as that of most 23-year olds we’ve met. He’s no Vijay Singh, no Pádraig Harrington and certainly no Tiger Woods, which is probably a good thing in many ways.

He’s not Darren Clarke either, though being told by Woods to get his finger out puts him in the same league bromance-wise. Remember the note Woods left on Clarke’s locker when he lost 4 and 2 to the Dungannon man in the Accenture MatchPlay final at La Costa? “Enjoy it you fat f***.”

What appears certain is that McIlroy is not enjoying it too much right now. The attention he has received since he upped the ante by signing hat multi-million dollar deal with Nike has not helped. The burdens that come with being the anointed one - the expectations, the media intrusion, the constant criticism - have increased exponentially and he’s plainly struggling to deal with them.

And following some revealing comments on Tuesday's Houston press conference, Keogh couldn't help but wonder if the whole No. 1 thing was a disaster for McIlroy and he'll be better to be a pursuer again.

“I guess at the minute, yeah, with me trying to get my game back to where I think it can be,” he told a news conference. “You know, it’s nice to just go — not just go about my business and no one cares, but you go about it and not be, I guess, the most talked about person in golf.  It’s a nice thing.”

He hit balls at a public course in Miami last Friday, wearing shorts and carrying a pencil bag with a Manchester United logo, just like any other 23-year old golf nut. It was almost a cry for a life more ordinary, for normality, for a few hours at least. An escape from the fuss.

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments (17)

McIlroy is starting to sound like Fred Couples 2.0.
03.27.2013 | Unregistered CommenterJeremy
Not everyone has the all out burning desire to be #1. Especially when the money's arrived. Not a knock, just an observation. If I was set for life I'd abandon my quest to be the world's best production manager.
03.27.2013 | Unregistered CommenterAG
McIlroy needs to get over his man-crush on Tiger and start refocusing on his game.
good thing about Rory is....he's being himself

because he can afford it
03.27.2013 | Unregistered CommenterUmp
Rory's 2 slumps of the past year or so came when he started dating the Dane - hence, no time to practice - and when he finished the year as no. 1 and spent a few months doing nothing, then thought - with all that Swoosh money in the bank - he could just show up and switch back on. Doesn't work like that, kid ... I think he will be brilliant when he's on but MC'ing when he's not. In other words, the next Phil, not next TW.
03.27.2013 | Unregistered CommenterAK47
Looks like Tiger is now one of Rory's two best friends on tour along with GMAC.
03.27.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
His best friend is on tour is Shane Lowry.

GMAC and Woods are too old to be in "best friend" categories. They are more like uncle/mentors types.
03.27.2013 | Unregistered CommenterSamas
File Rory's comments under the heading "Things Tiger, Jack and Hogan Would Never Say".
03.27.2013 | Unregistered CommenterRES
AK47, his game is definitely volatile like Phil's. But his ceiling is a lot higher.
03.27.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDRM
Samas, at what age differential are two people then excluded from being friends?

DRM, who do you think wins more tourney's when it's all said and done? Looking at the same time since turning pro Phil is about double Rory in wins but he had zero majors.
03.27.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
Here's an interesting stat...since his first win as a pro in 1993 Phil has won at least once every single year except 1999 and 2003, that's pretty incredible!

Wins per year:

1993 - 2
1994 - 1
1995 - 1
1996 - 4
1997 - 2
1998 - 2
1999 - 0
2000 - 4
2001 - 2
2002 - 2
2003 - 0
2004 - 2
2005 - 4
2006 - 2
2007 - 3
2008 - 2
2009 - 3
2010 - 1
2011 - 1
2012 - 1
2013 - 1 (tbc)

"Steady" isn't normally a word I'd associate with Phil but that's some darn steady production for 20 solid years! Don't forget he also won 1 in 1991 as an amateur.
03.27.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
@DTF, just like your comparison with Tiger the other day, I think it's unfair to make the comparison based on number of years as professionals since McIlroy turned pro when he was 18 and Phil when he was 22. Mickelson had four PGA Tour wins and no majors when he turned 24 (great in itself), so McIlroy with two majors, six PGA Tour wins and three Euro Tour wins is clearly way ahead of his curve.
03.28.2013 | Unregistered CommenterHawkeye
DTF, I think the steadiness of Phil's win rate through the years is testament to how talented he is. But we've already seen this year that he is extremely volatile. If you told me he'd win in dominant fashion at Phoenix and then miss the cut by a mile at Bay Hill (a course he has won on in the past), I would have said you're crazy. But that's just how Phil is, and it seems to be even more of a roller coaster as he ages.
03.28.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDRM
Well Hawkeye, I respect you and also your right to an opinion, but I disagree. As far as I'm concerned you turn pro and the clock starts. if you don't want the scrutiny and comparisons stay amateur.
03.28.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
@DTF: I still think actual age is more relevant and interesting than number of years as pro. According to your way of seeing, Arnold Palmer is one of the fastest starters in history with seven majors in his first decade as a pro. And to my recollection that has never been mentioned before by anyone! And Bobby Jones is still waiting for his first win as a pro... ;)
03.28.2013 | Unregistered CommenterHawkeye
Rory McIlroy plays well. Last year He has played very poor golf. I think his preparation is not so enough to get prize form any tour. It is very painful both for him & his fans.
Friendship among tiger woods and Rory McIlroy so past now. Rory McIlroy carriers now going to the path of destroy.Woods now ranking and Rory McIlroy ranking 2.
04.4.2013 | Unregistered CommenterKyla.D.Wertz

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.