Friday 19 January 2018

'I don't really have much sympathy for him': Rory McIlroy on Jordan Spieth's Masters meltdown

Will Slattery

Will Slattery

Rory McIlroy knows more than most that Augusta National can be a cruel golf course but while he can certainly empathise with Jordan Spieth after the American's recent back nine collapse, he doesn't necessarily sympathise with him.

Spieth seemed to have an unassailable lead on the final day of this year's Masters before a quadruple bogey at the 12th finished off a nightmare three-hole stretch where he dropped six shots. Spieth allowed Danny Willett to surge past him and take home the green jacket, much like McIlroy was caught by South African Charl Schwartzel on the final day in 2011 when the Northern Irishman shot a disastrous round of 80 to let a four-shot lead slip.

But despite their similar Masters woes, McIlroy told the Off The Ball show on Newstalk tonight that he doesn't sympathise much with his rival because of everything he has achieved in the game.

"I don't really feel sympathy for him," McIlroy told host Ger Gilroy.

"He has got two majors and he is one of the best players in the world and I'm sure he'll overcome it like a lot of people have."

"I couldn't believe it," he said of Spieth's shocking quadruple bogey.

"I was on the 17th and looking at the scoreboard and I saw Jordan drop from -5 to -1 and I couldn't believe it. I didn't know what happened. You can get a bit flustered and I think he did."

McIlroy recorded his second consecutive top ten finish at the Masters but he still fell short of completing the Career Grand Slam. He admitted that when paired with Spieth in the final grouping on Saturday, he underperformed badly.

"I think whenever you are playing in a pressure situation like that it exposes the weaknesses in your game and it definitely exposed those for me," he said.

"I had to think long and hard after Augusta."

Interestingly, McIlroy revealed that he has been working on some mechanical issues with his swing coach since the tournament in the hope of contending higher up the leaderboard at the upcoming US Open.

McIlroy said that he noticed some swing problems when re-watching his Masters performance.

"At Augusta I had a a fear of missing it left and that was definitely something to do with my swing," McIlroy said.

"I thought it was something mental but after watching the video it was something to do with my swing."

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