Wednesday 13 December 2017

McIlroy calls time on rush to judgement

Turkish Airlines Open, Live, Sky Sports 4, 9.0am / Shriners Hospitals Open, Live, Sky Sports 4, 8.30pm

Rory McIlroy:
Rory McIlroy: "Since I started to win Majors, there’s probably been about ten different eras in golf." Picture: AP
Liam Kelly

Liam Kelly

Thoroughly modern Rory McIlroy admits that even he is taken aback by the speed at which top golfers' achievements are hailed and then seemingly forgotten by the media and the public.

McIlroy has over three million twitter followers, and is followed by 1.1m people on Instagram.

He lives a jet-set lifestyle as a global golfer and he keeps up to date with the latest technological advances in his sport and in life generally.

But sometimes, the world No 2 and four-time Major champion would like the outside world to appreciate that Majors - and even regular Tour events - are never easily won.

Make no mistake, McIlroy is not complaining about the opportunities available to the elite performers.

He does, however, at the ripe old age of 27, wonder at the apparent ease with which players are glorified and almost as quickly, deemed to be 'gone' or 'in a slump'.

"Everything nowadays, and it's not just golf, it's the sports media, it's the culture we live in, it's so based on 'recency' and 'what have you done for me lately?'," he lamented.

"Since I started to win Majors, there's probably been about ten different eras in golf, and it bugs me because people don't give players the time to develop and become what they want them to be.

"They need to have patience with it. Generations and eras are built up over decades of playing against each other, and not over two seasons. That's a thing I struggle a little bit with."

McIlroy, speaking to the No Laying website, referred to Jordan Spieth as a classic example of the build-them up/knock them down genre.


"Jordan hasn't had a bad season. He didn't win a Major and he did what he did at Augusta, but everyone's asking 'what's wrong with Jordan?' and then when he wins again, they'll say 'he's back'," he said,

"No, he was never gone. He has not been anywhere. That's the thing that gets me. When I won the FedEx Cup or whatever, they say 'oh, Rory's back'.

"I'm not back, I've been playing like this. Sometimes it's hard to put your point across when you try to elaborate on how difficult it is to win on Tour, and how much competition there is out there."

McIlroy is resting up at his base in Dubai ahead of the DP World Tour Championship to be played there from November 17-20.

He has not responded to comments by Turkish Golf Federation president Ahmet Agaoglu and fellow Ryder Cup player Lee Westwood, who expressed their disappointment at his withdrawal from the Turkish Airlines Open.

The tournament goes on in his absence at the Regnum Carya in Antalya.

South Africa's George Coetzee shot a seven-under-par 64 to top the leaderboard, with Thorbjorn Olesen of Denmark a shot behind on 65.

Padraig Harrington, winner of the Portugal Masters two weeks ago, filed a 72, one over par.

On the PGA Tour, Graeme McDowell shot 70 (-1) in round one of the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas. Australia's Rod Pampling was early clubhouse leader on 60 (-11).

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