As he began his 15th season as a professional, Rory McIlroy A year’s reflection, which to date, has seen him win two PGA Tour events, but failed to compete in the major competitions, briefly slipped out of the top 10 in the world and endured an unfortunate Rider Cup that ended in tears.
For most professional golfers the years go by in the CV, a season where two wins and seven top ten finishes are currently counted as a pretty decent return. OK, if you haven’t been called Rory McIlroy.
Ever since he entered the professional scene at the age of 17 – and for many years before that – big things have been expected from Rory. And for the greater part of his career he made those promises and some.
Four major championships before the age of 25; 23 top-10 major finishes; 19 PGA Tour wins; 14 European Tour wins; Three Race to Dubai titles; Two FedEx Cup titles and ranked No. 1 in the world for over 100 weeks. Throw in six Rider Cup appearances and you have a pretty easy record making.
But dig through all the statistics, all the Ws, and all the money, and the annoying feeling remains that Rory didn’t get the results he deserved for his almost indomitable talent. Well, he’s only 32, and one or two years left from his absolute golfing prime, but already all the miles under his belt and all the other confusion that is now entering his life, it’s hard to know whether McIlroy’s best golf years are behind him or Still in front of him.
Last month’s CJ Cup win, and another win at the Wells Fargo Championship in May, may point to the latter, but before that his last win comes in November 2019 at the WGC-HSBC Championships in China. He lost at number one in his world. In June last year, the situation dropped to 14M In the rankings – his worst position since November 2009 – before he returned to eighth after his win in Las Vegas last month.
And in a game basically, and perhaps unjustly, judged by the major championship win, he has not won a single one since the PGA Championship in 2014 and he still painfully wins a Masters from completing the Major’s career Grand Slam. And not to mention the fourth place at the Tokyo Olympics where he was eliminated from the seven-way play-off for the bronze medal.
It’s probably no coincidence that Rory’s epidemic began and his first child arrived just over a year ago, but after the emotional turmoil caused by the heavy defeat in the Ryder Cup, the 32-year-old Northern Irishman seems to be his best version. Ready to reapply as.
McIlroy, for his part, believes that despite all his past achievements, and not to be forgotten, his vast wealth, he still has a desire and appetite to return to the top of golf, and thinks there are any questions about his motivation to rediscover the best. There are. The form is unfair and unreasonable.
“When I play my best, I still think I’m the best player in the world,” he said boldly before his debut on the CJ Cup 21/22 PGA Tour, which, of course, he went on to win. “Although I haven’t played for some time, I don’t think I needed to go back 18 months, when I was the number one player in the world.
“It simply came to our notice then. I have shown throughout my career that I care, that I want to win, that I want to be the best and that nothing has changed. Of course, there are a lot of great players out there who are playing really good golf, but you just have to be more discriminating with the help you render toward other people. ”
The show has seemed a bit unfocused in recent episodes, with McIlroy showing more interest in his game than in the Ryder Cup, when he broke down in tears after being interviewed after winning his singles match – the only point he has scored in four outings in Europe’s heaviest match. Defeat in Whistling Strait. The emotional interview, which was full of domestic truth, went viral in a matter of minutes, and describing the Ryder Cup as a little more than an ‘exhibition’ during his youth in 2009, underscores how important matches are to him now. .
Looking back at the post-match interview, McIlroy admits to being surprised by his response, but also says that it shows that he often hooks himself up. “I can’t necessarily be that passionate about golf, so I guess it surprised me. But the Ryder Cup is always a very emotional week, “he said.” I said later that there were a lot of different thoughts and emotions. There was relief that I won a point, but there was frustration that I couldn’t do more than myself I couldn’t do much. There were a lot of different emotions going through me and it was all a bit overwhelming. “
He added: “I think sometimes I give myself too easy time and I try to play ‘golf doesn’t define me’ or I find balance in my life and I try to stay away from pleasure, and that’s obviously very true. , But if I’m being honest, I can sometimes use it as a way to reduce injury if I don’t play good golf.
“But I think it was a good thing for me. I think I’ve realized a few things about myself that I haven’t publicly acknowledged before. I was amazed at how emotional I was, but after thinking for a while over the last few weeks, I realized why I did it. “
The six-time Ryder Cup player insisted that Padrig Harrington could do nothing more and that Europe could not just hit standard golf shots or dig a fair portion of their putts. He said: “Padreg could do no more. Of course, the captains set the tone and they create some culture around the team, but at the end of the day the players keep hitting shots there and trying to punch holes and Europe didn’t hit shots or put holes. When you look back at it, America has drilled far more holes than we have and gained momentum faster. And when you’re away and trying to fight back, it’s very difficult. I certainly couldn’t criticize what Padrag did. It was up to the players to play better golf and we didn’t. “
Returning to his potential, McIlroy will not try to get back to the basics that he is adamant about, and defeat other players in their own game, as he admits he did with Bryson DeChambeu when he brought his new power game, this will be his way back. At the top
“The last few weeks have been a lot of reflection and that’s what I have to do. I just have to play golf, I need to simplify it, I just have to be me. For the past few months I’ve been trying to be someone else to try to be better and I’ve realized that my being is enough. I know that when I do something good, I can win a lot of events and be the best player in the world.
“It simply came to our notice then. It starts with being creative and being visual and not being so technical with it. Getting 20 wins here is a big achievement. I didn’t know it was going to happen this week, but I knew if I kept my head down and kept playing well and doing the right things, I would finally get there. I want to go back to where I was four or five times a year. “
With 20 wins comes lifetime membership on the PGA Tour, once you play 15 seasons. For McIlroy it will be official at the start of the 2023-24 season. “It’s very important, you don’t have to worry about the minimum on the tour and really be able to set a schedule, and especially when the kids reach school age and maybe want to spend a little more time at home, it’s important. Look, at that level, I can pick and choose where I play nowadays, but it makes it better and less burdensome. “