McIlroy in need of some good Irish luck

2013-10-25 00:00

THIS time last year, Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy was a very happy young man. He had just won his second major tournament — the U.S. PGA — and was ranked the number one golfer in the world. He was dating the beautiful former number one tennis player, Caroline Wozniacki, and he was just about to sign one of the most lucrative endorsements in sports history with Nike. He also finished top of the order of merit on both sides of the Atlantic.

At that time, this column mentioned that the change of equipment from Titleist to Nike could be problematic for McIlroy. This proved to be the case. The young superstar has had a dismal 2013. In 2012 McIlroy won five tournaments with 15 top 10 finishes, but he is yet to record a victory this year and has slumped to sixth in the world rankings. He is still at a very young age as far as golfers reaching their peak are concerned, but he is on a downward spiral and he needs to urgently turn this around.

His problems however are not only on the golf course. Recently he had an acrimonious split with the Dublin-based Horizon Sports with a number of years of the contract left to run. Apparently McIlroy was unhappy with the commission that Horizon was charging for its services and legal proceedings have begun in a Dublin Court. He has set up his own management company, RMI, Rory McIlroy Incorporated, to manage his business interests, which will provide more direct control of his affairs. Horizon feels aggrieved and believes that the company achieved exceptional results for McIlroy in realising his commercial value. Horizon is not taking this contract termination lying down.

So McIlroy has a court case to think about as well as his poor performances on the golf course and as if that isn’t enough, there is the latest chapter of his frustrating year. There are reports that his relationship with Caroline Wozniacki has broken down. It is common knowledge that he is feeling the pressure of coping with a celebrity relationship and this has had a negative bearing on his golf. No doubt details of the relationship will emerge.

McIlroy’s golf has been most disappointing because he is hitting poor approach shots, even missing the greens with wedge shots, which is like missing your mouth with a fork.

It will be intriguing to watch how things unfold over the next few months.

From the 19th hole

One day an Irishman goes into a pharmacy, reaches into his pocket and takes out a small Irish whiskey bottle and a teaspoon. He pours from the bottle onto the teaspoon and says to the chemist, “Could you taste this for me, please?”

The chemist takes the teaspoon, puts it in his mouth, swills the liquid around and swallows it. “Does that taste sweet to you?” says Paddy. “No, not at all”, says the chemist.

“Oh that’s a relief,” says Paddy. “The doctor told me to come here and get my urine tested for sugar.”

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