The Daily Mail's Derek Lawrenson writes on the 10-year anniversary of Rory McIlroy's decision to turn pro and says "if the last decade has shown us anything, it is there's nothing in golf quite like the sight of McIlroy in full flow."
Suggesting McIlroy's first decade fell short only to those of Palmer, Nicklaus, Woods and Ballesteros, Lawrenson wonders what will happen to turn things around.
McIlroy has certainly got some serious issues to address, beginning with his health. We're told the persistent rib injury that has prevented him from practising properly for much of this season will be put right with two months of rest and we can only hope this proves the case.
While he's doing that in October and November McIlroy will begin the search for a new caddie, and you only have to look at the contribution Michael Greller makes to Spieth's success to illustrate the importance of the right choice.
On the course, McIlroy might have few peers when it comes to his work off the tee but it's not much use when it's accompanied by stats showing his wedge game and putting are way below a level to allow him to take advantage. The plan is to spend much of December working on a solution.
One of the more interesting comments from McIlroy at the BMW Championship was reported by GolfChannel.com's Will Gray. Discussing why he played the PGA Tour Playoffs after suggesting he might pass to rest a nagging rib injury, McIlroy said he ultimately played at someone else's request.
While he explained that playing the last three events hasn’t made any further impact on his existing injury, he also hinted that the decision to tackle the playoffs was not entirely his.
“Some decisions aren’t completely up to the individual,” McIlroy said. “There was outside expectation from elsewhere. I played these events for two reasons: thinking that I still had a chance, but for trying to fulfill obligations elsewhere. So there was two parts of it.”
McIlroy became a free agent of sorts when Nike exited the equipment business but signed with Taylor Made mid-season. Whether it was one of those two companies or the PGA Tour pressuring McIlroy to play despite his health issues, is not clear. But given the potential for harm, the resulting mediocre playoff run and the loads of potential McIlroy possesses to be a dominant player, it sounds like priority number one is getting some of his obligations in better order heading into 2018.
**We debated the future Rory is facing on Golf Central: