Friday 2 December 2016

McIlroy needs to throw caution to the wind

Joe Molloy

Published 09/03/2016 | 02:30

'McIlroy has always been at his best playing instinctively.' Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
'McIlroy has always been at his best playing instinctively.' Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

For the second time in three weeks, Rory McIlroy has led a PGA tournament with 16 holes or less to play and failed to capitalise, which is an odd trend, given his proven front-running ability.

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The World Number 2 led by four shots early on in Sunday's round but fell back badly. At his mercurial best, like the 2011 US Open or the 2012 PGA win at Kiawah Island, McIlroy (below)grabs a lead and gets aggressive. He becomes a ruthless murderer of high-class fields.

Yet it was noticeable last week in Doral, pre-tournament at his press conference that he talked a lot about becoming a more sensible golfer and making fewer mental errors and thinking more about strategy.

On Sunday, it seemed like he tried to prove a point to himself and everyone else and got caught between his natural aggressive front-running game and a more cautious one. Somewhere along the line he lost his groove and ended up with a poor 74.

McIlroy has always been at his best playing instinctively. Sure it costs him tournaments, but it has also landed him four majors and sparked weeks of unstoppable momentum. He's in great form five weeks out from Augusta - you just want him to trust his own brilliance.

Irish Independent

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