Rory McIlroy had enough at the Honda Classic this past week, opting to leave the course midway through the second round on Friday, later to say that pain from his wisdom tooth was the reason for his abrupt withdrawal. After taking the time to think about his actions, McIrloy told Sports Illustrated that leaving the course was definitely a mistake. After hearing from many former great golfers, his admittance comes as no great surprise. The shocker, however, as that McIlroy said that he wants to be more like Tiger Woods.
Should that statement worry his girlfriend, professional women’s tennis player, Caroline Wozniacki? No. McIlroy doesn’t mean that is how he wishes to be more like Woods.
The No. 1 player in the world told a Sports Illustrated reporter on Sunday night that the pain from his wisdom tooth should not have kept him from completing his round on Friday. “It was a reactive decision,” McIlroy told SI. “What I should have done is take my drop, chip it on, try to make a 5 and play my hardest on the back nine, even if I shot 85. What I did was not good for the tournament, not good for the kids and the fans who were out there watching me — it was not the right thing to do.”
McIlroy is not off to the greatest of starts n 2013. He has missed the cut during multiple tournaments already, and many people are pointing to his new sponsorship deal with Nike as the possible cause for his struggles on the course. McIlroy squashed those rumors as well during the interview.
After signing a very lucrative deal with Nike that puts him in a similar pay range as Woods, McIlroy said that “The driver and the ball took some time to get used to, but I had weeks at Nike before the start of the year, and I feel comfortable with all the equipment. The problem is, I’m bringing the club too upright on the backswing then dropping it in too much on the downswing.”
As for being more like his Nike buddy and greens rival, McIlroy credited Woods for maybe being “the best athlete ever, in terms of his ability to grind it out” adding that “I could have a bit more of that, if I’m honest.”
Many people had gotten on McIlroy for his actions, including all-time Majors winner Jack Nicklaus.
“He shouldn’t have walked off the golf course; that was unfortunate,” Nicklaus said on Golf Channel’s spotlight coverage on Sunday. “If he had thought about it for five minutes, he wouldn’t have done it. I think he’s a good kid, a sharp kid. I think he’s probably just so frustrated with what’s happening with the way he’s played the last month or so that it just got to him.”
Nicklaus also added that the clubs and balls and switch to Nike was not the problem.
“It’s easy to blame it on your golf clubs, but frankly, I don’t really buy that,” claimed Nicklaus. “You’ve just got to learn to deal with it. Not everything is perfect. His talent is so much greater and a much greater influence on his golf game than his clubs. He can play with anything.”
Except, perhaps, for a sore wisdom tooth.
Sorry, Rory. Don’t worry. You’ll be fine. Just don’t emulate Tiger. Try to be more like Jack.