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Friday 29 August 2014

McIlroy: 'Fantastic' Nike equipment not to blame for walkoff

Cormac Byrne

Published 06/03/2013 | 15:24

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REFILE - CORRECTING NATIONALITY

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland walks away from the 2nd hole during the first round of play in the Honda Classic PGA golf tournament in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida February 28, 2013.  REUTERS/Brian Blanco (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT GOLF)
Rory McIlroy in action at the Honda Classic PGA golf tournament

RORY McIlroy has described his new Nike equipment as “fantastic” and has refused to blame it for his hugely-disappointing start to 2013.

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A missed cut at the Abu Dhabi Championship in January was followed by a first round exit at the World Matchplay Championship and last week’s controversial walkout at the Honda Classic.

Observers have been suggesting that McIlroy’s struggles have been caused by his new Nike equipment but the world number one has insisted that it’s his swing that is the problem.

“I know that it is purely the swing, the equipment is fantastic,” he said..

“When I make a good swing the ball goes where I want it. It’s getting my swing in the right path.”

“I feel if we had of tried to get to the root of this swing problem straight away(the seaon could have started differently).

“We were trying to get a balance, we knew the swing wasn’t in the position we wanted it to be in but at the same time you’ve got to go out and play and you’ve got to go out and try to shoot a score.

“If I really got my head into this I could have said I’m going to this no matter how long it takes, no matter what the result is, no matter how bad I played for a few weeks.

“This is what I have to get right and when I get it right, the results will follow and after the last few weeks I’ve sort of realised that.

McIlroy apolgised again for his high profile walkoff at the Honda Classic last Friday admitting that there are “no excuses for quitting”.

McIlroy played the first eight of his holes in the second round in seven over and immediately shook hands with his playing partners and walked off the course after finding water on the ninth.

At a pre-tournament press conference ahead of the WGC Cadillac Championship, McIlroy admitted that his actions were wrong.

"I feel like I let a lot of people down with what I did last week, and for that I am sorry,” he said.

“ I realised pretty quickly it was not the right thing to do. I regret what I did. I’ve learned from it and it won't happen again.

 "No matter how bad I was playing, I should have stayed out there. I should have tried to shoot the best score possible even though it probably wasn't going to be good enough to make the cut

"At that moment in time I was all over the place and I just saw red.

"Friday might be blessing in disguise. Sort of released the pressure valve.

“All I care about is getting my swing in order, after that the results will follow. McIlroy initially told reporters on Friday as he was heading to his car that he was not in a "good place mentally" and then later a statement cited pain from his wisdom tooth.

 Asked which version was the truer reflection of the reason for his withdrawal, McIlroy said both were factors but that his tooth pain was not enough of a reason.

 "Both. I wasn't in a good place with my golf game. I was, you know, mentally - you know, my head was all over the place.

 "But at the same time, I have been struggling with my lower right wisdom tooth for over a year.

"So, yeah, look, my tooth was bothering me, but it wasn't bothering me enough to probably, you know, quit, but, that's just the way it is," said the Northern Irishman, who is paired with Tiger Woods and England's Luke Donald on Thursday and Friday at Doral's Blue Monster course.

Following his meltdown on Friday, Tiger Woods suggested that Rory should be more careful with how he deals with the press but McIlroy has vowed to continue to be open and honest about his game and his life.

“We(McIlroy and the press) are hopefully going to have a working relationship for the next 20 years so I don’t want to jeporadise that by being closed,” he added.

“I don’t want friction between me and the press because at the end of the day you guys are here because you are reporting what we do on the golf course all over the world and I don’t want there to be a strange relationship.”

McIlroy has not decided whether he should add an event to his schedule ahead of the major season given his lack of tournament time this season.

“I’ll see how I do this week and make a decision from there,” he said.

“If I want to play at Tampa next week I have to enter by Friday and then there is Bay Hill. Right now I haven’t made a decision and I feel like I have made some progress over the last few days.”

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