Twitter: GeoffShac
Writing And Videos
  • Playing Through: Modern Golf's Most Iconic Players and Moments
    Playing Through: Modern Golf's Most Iconic Players and Moments
    by Jim Moriarty
  • Tommy's Honor: The Story of Old Tom Morris and Young Tom Morris, Golf's Founding Father and Son
    Tommy's Honor: The Story of Old Tom Morris and Young Tom Morris, Golf's Founding Father and Son
    by Kevin Cook
  • His Ownself: A Semi-Memoir (Anchor Sports)
    His Ownself: A Semi-Memoir (Anchor Sports)
    by Dan Jenkins
  • The Captain Myth: The Ryder Cup and Sport's Great Leadership Delusion
    The Captain Myth: The Ryder Cup and Sport's Great Leadership Delusion
    by Richard Gillis
  • The Ryder Cup: Golf's Grandest Event – A Complete History
    The Ryder Cup: Golf's Grandest Event – A Complete History
    by Martin Davis
  • A Life Well Played: My Stories
    A Life Well Played: My Stories
    by Arnold Palmer
  • Harvey Penick: The Life and Wisdom of the Man Who Wrote the Book on Golf
    Harvey Penick: The Life and Wisdom of the Man Who Wrote the Book on Golf
    by Kevin Robbins
« Way To Go Swoosh: Tiger Is Back…To Being Controversial | Main | United Brotherhood Wants To Build Merion's U.S. Open Tents »

"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):
All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.