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Can Rory Turn It Around At Firestone Like Last Year?

Maybe the only intriguing storyline at the WGC Bridgestone is Rory McIlroy's attempt to kickstart his season as he did last year.

Derek Lawrenson in the Daily Mail wonders if it's simply a matter of losing focus while noting an alarming number for the European Tour: McIlroy is 84th in the Race to Dubai where only 60 qualify. McIlroy has four starts to get into the top 60.

Kevin Garside in The Independent makes a case that "McIlroy’s problem is every player’s problem. It’s called form. And no game demands more of body and mind than golf."

I'm just still worried about his dental pain.

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Reader Comments (24)

As thin-skinned as Rory is, you know all of these headlines are killing him. He seems like the type that would read a lot about himself in the press. When things are going well for him, he's confident...almost cocky...about his game. He loves the headlines and adulation then. Who wouldn't? When things aren't going well I'm not sure there is another golfer whose body language is so bad.

One thing about golf I learned a long time ago is that a player who thinks he will play poorly, will play poorly. Maybe Rory thinks he will play well on the 1st tee, but his body language after a few bad holes tells me all I need to know. He gives up on his rounds faster than any other pro I've ever seen. Maybe it's the product of so much success so early in his career, but it's a killer.

I wish him the best. He seems like a good kid and he clearly has a ton of talent. I also like that he's self driven and his parents didn't "Wie-him". That said, he needs an attitude adjustment. He needs to learn to dig deep.

Before you guys lambaste me, I recognize I don't know the guy personally. These are just my opinions.
07.30.2013 | Unregistered CommenterChris from DE
It's more sponsor expectations and the big contract. He's young. He'll figure it out.
07.30.2013 | Unregistered CommenterAG
Chris from DE, completely agree on the body language. Stumbled across some old coverage of the Palm Beach Walk-Off and the body language in the pics really was something.

AG, completely disagree. If anything all the guaranteed money should free him up...and it's not like he was already pulling down some serious coin. If he wasn't going to succumb to "sponsor pressure" it would have been when he left the amateur ranks and turned pro, then he went from $0 to $$$A-WHOLE-BUNCH. Now if getting paid the big endorsement $$$'s was predicated on current performance maybe then it would be an issue but unless things have changed dramatically at Nike (think Duval) all of Ror's money is guaranteed.

Geoff, when is someone going to ask him if that pesky tooth has been eradicated?
07.30.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
Guess my point was he seems like a truly decent and is concerned more about what people think, ie: fans, sponsors, press than some players. Money frees him from bills, but not the perceived obligations. He'll be fine, even with inferior clubs.
07.30.2013 | Unregistered CommenterAG
AG - If he cared for the fans and sponsors, he wouldn't walk off in the middle of his rounds or give up on his rounds when he knows making the cut is out of range. I agree that he cares more about the press than he should, which is a shame. I would never look at the stuff if I were in his position. It can do no good, but lots of harm.

The golf press has just gotten awful. I can't even read any of Golf Magazine's writers anymore. Shipnuck, Bamberger, etc. They're all terrible. Reporting...not so much. Bad opinions based on faulty, misinterpreted information...ding, ding, ding!!!
07.30.2013 | Unregistered CommenterChris from DE
No.He can't drive it within 40 yards of where he's aiming.
07.30.2013 | Unregistered CommenterChico
chico, is that another way of saying driver yips?

Have you read any stuff by this guy Croker? "Throw the clubhead" at the ball?
07.30.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
Read Wright Thompson's piece on ESPN site about Johnny Football (new today) some of it probably could be related to Rory. Things change when your life is being lived in a fishbowl.
He is a money guy. Quick success parlayed into big money endorsement deals has led to performance malaise. I'm not all that optimistic that he will reboot and find the fire again. Pity.
07.30.2013 | Unregistered Commentertlavin
@ DTF Years ago Duval himself went back to NIKE and admitted that he was being over paid for his performance. He was the first to admit that his contract should be reduce in terms of guaranteed money. Years later, his deal now is virtually all incentive based.
Pro...but didn't they thank David and then actually pay him on the original terms? Would Rory consider doing the same?
07.30.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
Sorry to shift gears, but watching the replay of the 2005 PGA on GC tonight. I don't know why they haven't figured out that people would pay $$ for complete rebroadcasts of (at least) the final rounds of these events, instead of the produced highlight DVDS. (I would buy both of course)
07.30.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBrianS
@Chris from DE.... So you are saying Rory tanks/gives up on his rounds faster than John Daly? Really don't think he is in JD territory at this time and likely will never be.

JD is the undisputed champion of the entire cosmos when his rounds start going sideways. Witness all his phantom injuries over the years, mid round WDs and scores in the 80's that make up a great deal of JDs career along with the litany of not believable explanations. Simply put Daly is the biggest quitter in the history of golf. Lets check back on Rory in 20 or so years.
07.30.2013 | Unregistered CommenterOWGR Fan
Don't think he has the yips yet Del but his confidence is on the floor.Word on our tour is that almost nobody can hit the new Nike driver- but I haven't tried it.
07.30.2013 | Unregistered CommenterChico
Faldo was proved right about the club switch. Rory took the deal when he was red hot. Right now, he should have been looking forward to going for his 4th major win at Oak Hill, not on the floor like he is right now. I agree with Chris on the body language. Rory is an emotional player compared to the poker face style of Tiger. There have been times this year when he almost has his form back, but one bad shot allows the demons to return. He needs to toughen up, because bad times on the golf course are never far away.
07.31.2013 | Unregistered CommenterEasingwold
@ DTF They 'thanked him' for sure, but he took a self-imposed cut and made it more incentive based. That is just David. He wanted to do what he felt was right. I am not sure Rory would do the same, as I don't know him. But at some point, someone is going to say "uncle'. This young man has a whole career in front of him - he has to turn it around at some point or the deal isn't worth it. Does a 10-year deal trump an entire career? I am not sure what the problem is; i.e., is it the clubs?, or is it mechanical, or personal? Only Rory can answer that.
OWGR Fan - I stand corrected, JD is far worse. HOWEVER, I was thinking of relevant players who aren't drug addicts with more baggage than the Kardashian family on a month long vacation.

Of all the top tier, major caliber players, no one has worse body language than Rory. him watch Caroline play. He looks miserable. The reason it's so noticeable is because when he's playing well and winning, he bounce steps his way around the course with his nose pointed towards the sky.
07.31.2013 | Unregistered CommenterChris from DE
I played a round of golf with a friend - multiple event winner on the PGA TOUR - within weeks of Rory's US Open victory. My friend was raving about how watching Rory play just made him *want* to go out and enjoy golf like that. I played with him again a few weeks ago, and we were talking about that - and that seeing Rory play now makes you NOT want to play golf.

In other words, his peers are talking about the body language.
07.31.2013 | Unregistered CommenterTombo
Looking at the photo of the rough McDowell posted, I'm guessing that McIlroy will be lucky to hit 18 of the 36 greens he will play next week in regulation.
07.31.2013 | Unregistered Commentermehstgmehst
You gotta cut the kid a little slack for Pete's sake. He's 24 and a prodigious talent. A little room to breath and better scheduling, he'll be fine.
07.31.2013 | Unregistered CommenterAG
@Chris from DE.... Thanks. I do not watch tennis. I will trust the fine members here to keep us up to date on how Rory is at his girlfirends tennis events. :)
07.31.2013 | Unregistered CommenterOWGR Fan
Did anybody else see Rors tonight on On the Range working with Dave Stockton!?!?

He took about 10 putts from 6 ft (a couple different angles, too) and MISSED every single one of them! I've watched enough pros putt on practice greens to know they are almost automatic fom that range when it doesn't count. I'm sure he was working on something new but stil....


Maybe Gary Player was right -- A Man Needs a Maid
When is a reporter going to ask about the tooth?

Chris, interesting Rory watching Caroline pic here:
08.1.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
@DTF.... They will ask Rory about the tooth the same time they ask Tim Clark why he can not putt with a regular golf grip yet can hit every other shot with one, the same time they ask DJ what his favorite jet ski is and why Ole 3 iron Haas can't actually hit one. :)
08.2.2013 | Unregistered CommenterOWGR Fan

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