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Shock: Rory Feels Rusty!

In adding the Valero Texas Open and canceling his Haiti UNICEF trip this week, it appears Rory McIlroy has finally realized the Masters is upon us.

As has been noted, his announced early-2013 schedule was shockingly light in pre-Masters prep, and that was before he missed cuts, left the match play early and WD'd while refusing to add Bay Hill to make up for the lack of "reps."

Chris Duncan reports on the rationale behind Rory's decision to add another event prior to the Masters, inspired by caddie J.P. Fitzgerald.

"Everything feels good in my game," he said. "It's just about playing a bit more competitive golf and just getting a little sharper. I just feel a little rusty out there, at times."

The Houston Open was McIlroy's first event since Doral, so he wasn't worried about wearing himself out before Masters week.

"The more golf you play, I guess, the more savvy you become," McIlroy said. "I think it's a good decision. I'm looking forward to getting a few more rounds under our belt going into Augusta."

His commitment to San Antonio forced him to cancel a two-day humanitarian trip to Haiti, where he was going to meet with children and families affected by the 2010 earthquake there. McIlroy is an Ireland ambassador to UNICEF and traveled to Haiti in 2011, before winning the U.S. Open at Congressional, his first major championship.

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Reader Comments (18)

Rory, walking down fairway in Houston: "I really do not wanna go to Haiti on Monday."

JP (laughing): "Well, we can always play the Texas Open."

Rory: "Yeah, great idea. Where is Texas?"

JP (surprised, because he was kidding): "Somewhere near Mexico, I think."

Rory: "Is it a decent venue?"

JP: "I hear it was designed by Greg Norman and Sergio Garcia."

Rory: "Wow, Haiti doesn't sound so bad, all of a sudden."
03.30.2013 | Unregistered CommenterSteve Elling
Consider the ax sharpened S.E.!

My sense is Ror's could use a healthy dose of Chubby Chandler. His new/current agent clearly doesn't have the balls to get in Ror's grill and explain to him what it takes and what is expected. Ror's needs to make a change there....
03.31.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
I agree Del-I think he is beingVERY badly managed at the moment.My guess is that the Nike contract came about because Chubby held all his previous ones?
03.31.2013 | Unregistered CommenterChico
It's a learning process.
03.31.2013 | Unregistered CommenterIvan Morris
So Rory feels rusty eh? Well "No $hit Sherlock!" as my brother would say. I have a few Jrs who have already played about 16 tournament rounds in 2013 so far. If a junior golfer from CZ can get those tournament rounds in, how come the (former) #1 player in the world can't? Lots of $$ in that new contract for a nice plane to ferry one around the world between PGA and ATP events ;-))

Great point Chico...and IMO there's alot of truth in it. Chubby may have been...well who he is...but at least he knows from personal experience what it takes to be out on Tour (since he actually walked the walk one time). Also, he knows what kind of outside influences can wreck a swing/confidence/attitude/karma/mojo/etc..

Rory's handlers appear to be YES-men....a sign of weak management. It's alot easier to say 'Yes' than 'No'.

Oh and speaking of Nike and stuff...anybody read some of the Lance Armstrong stuff coming out? Talk about having all his sponsors defending a cheater and defaming innocent folks who wanted to do the right thing. The actions of Nike was basically either bury their heads in the sand or else they sent the jackals out into the media.
03.31.2013 | Unregistered Commenterjohnnnycz

03.31.2013 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
Keep in mind that Rory's typical pre-major routine in the past has been to take several weeks off. If I remember correctly, back in 2011 he took something like three weeks off leading in to both the Masters and US Open. Aside from the last nine at the Masters, he fared pretty well in those two events. Then when he did the same thing for The Open he was killed by the press for it.

This year might be different in that his game is out of sorts, but in the past not playing has been his typical preparation for majors to ensure he is fresh mentally for the week.
03.31.2013 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew
He just needs more reps
03.31.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBrad
Totally agree with the Chubby comments. It feels like Rory is coasting a bit. You never hear anyone talk about how hard he works. I hope this first part of the season has acted as a wake-up call.
03.31.2013 | Unregistered CommenterHilltop
Who knew that laying off golf for long periods of time would lead to rust? Who knew?
Rory reminds me of myself in college...waking up on Sunday with a massive hangover, realizing that there's an exam coming up on Monday. all of a sudden you scramble for some Gatorade and a quiet spot in the library...
03.31.2013 | Unregistered CommenterAlex H
Rory: How is Texas?
Caddy: Pretty good town, tough course
Rory: Maybe I should go
Cadddy: Elling will be there, he would love to talk to you
Rory: Darn it, I already canceled Haiti, maybe I can go to Somalia
03.31.2013 | Unregistered CommenterHMMM
That was funny AlexH...and possibly true.

Personally, I think his weeks off following the ATP tour is wreaking havoc on his pelvis/hips ;-D-~~ (that's my attempt at a smoking emoticon)
03.31.2013 | Unregistered Commenterjohnnnycz
chico, good point on the contracts. I think his Titleist deal was up anyway but clearly the Oakley deal was not. Hilltop also makes a good point too about work ethic, or lack thereof.

As for UNICEF, haven't really looked into it closely but have seen a couple snippets suggesting a very low percentage of the funding actually makes it to the front lines....anyone have a feel for what the best charities do in terms of delivering a percentage of funding to the intended recipient?
03.31.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
Hereditary Disease Foundation: 100% for research on Huntington Disease last time I looked.
Salvation Army strong in that regard.
03.31.2013 | Unregistered CommenterAG
Rory would do well to spend as much time as possible with Tiger -- get an up close look at the work ethic required for a sustained run at the top.
04.1.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
Sorry DTF; disagree with spending time with Tiger. Whenever they get together, Rory comes away feeling (playing) less than great. I think it's just a fox dropping grain outside the hen-house. Rory needs more 'Ireland' and less 'Hollywood' to get grounded, and then come out strong from the start. Agree with Chubby comments above as well.

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