McIlroy Walks Out as Concern Creeps In

Top-ranked Rory McIlroy walked off the course midway through the second round, his third poor showing since switching to Nike clubs.

Comments: 45

  1. As a fellow Irish person, I like Rory. But, I think there's too much pressure on someone so young. He probably thought that if he was playing his game badly it wouldn't improve and he would embarrass himself further if he continued. So, the decent thing to do was to leave the game when he could. I think he needs a break.

  2. decent thing to do was leave?

    if there's too much pressure don't become a nike pitchman and except all that money.

    finish the round, that's the decent thing to do.

  3. Go back to titleist equipment and give Nike their money back.

  4. Well it's been good for Titleist, and now they don't even have to pay him for it.

  5. Anyone who has had a wisdom tooth problem knows that golf at this level simply isn't compatible with that type of pain. He is a great young representative of golf and of the younger set, and he seems to genuinely go out of his way to be friendly with people. I think the press needs to give him a break, he is on the World stage because that was his goal and he is more than able to handle it, he ducks nothing. These guys are human and they can have a bad day, living out of a suitcase is not fun, ask any business traveler. I remeber when Nicklaus was told ( on the course, in the middle of a round ) that one of his boys had a car accident, and the details were sketchy, he shot an 83 because he was consumed with worry, and I'm sure he just wanted to get off the course. I respect him for gutting it out and trying. He is the real deal and a true pro, we should be very happy we have such an affable and friendly star, and give him some breathing room - remember when you were 23 ???

  6. 23. Star girlfriend. Maybe his first.

    Sponsorship commitments right and left for tens of millions.
    Lavish home. His first for sure.

    23. In a game that is very much mental
    With new clubs for lots of dough and expectation.

    Now what could possibly go wrong?

    I like that kid a lot.

    He needs to play and have fun.

  7. He wasn't going to make the cut anyway, but it was hardly a classy move. Perhaps his wisdom tooth did bother him, but I can't believe if it was that bad nobody around him noticed his distress or he didn't at least casually mention it to someone. Time will tell.

  8. Tom, I have both wisdom teeth removed. One of them was impacted. The pain is awful and the surgery worse. To address the club issue" It ain't the arrow. It's the Indian that counts."

  9. He'll be back, no one goes straight to the top and just stays there without some ups and downs.

  10. And, what is the story here? If he was pitching baseball in the majors he would leave after walking one batter.

    Kicking a dead horse will only give you a sore foot.

  11. I feel bad for the media really. They are so desperate to be able to write about someone other than Tiger and have the public actually be interested. Every time someone pops up they get crushed by the expectations. Who knew anointing oils weighed so heavily?

  12. I think this whole subject falls under the heading of "Who Cares?" It is not as if there were no other golfers to take his place. Or no other golfers to watch on TV. Although, I must admit that I miss Lee Trevino. He seemed to enjoy the game more, and did not take life so seriously and business-like.......

  13. He would not be the first to succumb to fame and fortune. The list is endless. Hope he can find his corner of the globe where he can find a little peace, solace and privacy. Oh to be a celebrity.

  14. Too much is being made of this, including the ability for we readers to comment on it here.
    Let the kid play golf, work his way through whatever else is going on within him, and let us enjoy the thrill of his excellence and skill in competing in the greatest sport ever invented by humankind.

  15. If the kid thinks he can feel the logo on his clubs, then that is in his head and will take time to go away. Maybe he made to great a change all at once.

  16. You got the KID part right and that is about all. He is no more then a want-a-be.

  17. Seven over par after eight holes is just another (rare) day on the course for us hackers who enjoy the game despite the absence of multi-million-dollar contracts and private jets to whisk us to our nearest municipal course.

    As for the equipment change--we blame our old clubs for bad shots, not our new ones (if we have any).

    Rory needs to relax, have fun, and be happy that he has the skills to play at the professional level. The big money will continue to flow.

    Get those wisdom teeth out, endure a few days of painkillers and mashed potatoes, and get back out there.

  18. McIlroy has too much talent for this to be anything other than a slump. Most young, emerging, golf stars go through this. Woods was an exception, I think, because he didn't fade back into the pack after a couple of early years of success. I do not blame the equipment change because it is a change in name only. Any golf equipment manufacturer will build clubs for a sponsored star that suit that star's preferences. In simple terms, the Nikes he plays now are only superficially different than his Titleists. I think the Tiger Woods phenomenon factor is involved here. Since Tiger's slumps meant not winning more than 4 tournaments and not winning a major in a tournament season (until his scandal broke), the bar has been set pretty high. Relax...

  19. Wisdom teeth, really? He was asked three times when walking off the course and it was always "not in the right place mentally".

    First he dumped his longtime girlfriend for Wozniacki. Then his agent. Now he switches clubs for the Nike money.

    As the Brits say "he's become a big-time Charlie".

  20. One can only hope the press leaves this kid alone. One of two circumstances going on . He has a tooth ache, or he is working through another issue. Neither is anyones business. If his sponsors are upset ,they will deal with that. My hang out The PGA NAtional Resort and Spa is in clover and Tiger is playing in his on locale. Jack will show for a appearance, all is well.

  21. Maybe Rory's caddie needs a bit of training in how to get his man's head back in the game when he's going off the rails. For what he's being paid he should be able to do more than just carry the bag. Get some tips from Bones and Phil. Golf is a mental game. Ask anyone.

  22. Why join Nike? They're the creeps who pay people slave wages in Asia to make sneakers they pitch for $300 to ghetto kids and who have hijacked the entire amateur sports scene here and abroad. Rory went to Haiti and did good work and then turns around and joins Nike? Showing his youth, or he got some bad advice. At least I hope that's what it is.

  23. Sorry folks, Rory is a head case. No doubt he shook off the horrendous 2011 Masters collapse with his subsequent play but now he sits on 2 majors and wants the next one to be number 14. Too much space, too much reality, too many questions equal choke.

    Honestly, do you believe the next 5 years will resemble anything close to what the hype will be? He has just made a statement of where his head is. Just wait until he plays in New York again. Ask Greg Norman or Colin Montgomerie: New Yorkers pile on like no other and sense blood in the water better than white sharks.

    I suggest that Tiger flies back to #1 before the 787 flies again commercially.

  24. He's in a slump--so what. It happens to everyone involved in sports at one time or another. It's not as though it matters in the grand scheme of things. It's golf, the world's most exasperating game.

  25. when pros are about to shoot a hacker score they always walk off, ive seen it before thru the years with other players. he was on his way to posting a 90. golf is a confidence game,its not easy getting it back once you lose it. i remember david duval shooting 59 in the final round of a tournament and 2 years later he couldnt break 80. i think that new equipment is not working for him.

  26. Duke lost to UVA by 20 and Miami by 30. So Rory goes on to shoot 81 if he finishes, so What.
    Coach K did not pull his team off the court at half time
    Rory demonstrated very un- professional behavior.
    He should get a yellow card for this.
    Need a very big apology to sponsors, fellow PGA players, the networks, and his fans.
    If he goes on to receive a red card he will destroy all the equity he has built up in golf.

  27. Nike probably gave him a mega contract and now Rory needs to produce. This is pressure. I don't see him going back to Titleist and giving up all that money. He does need to finish rounds.

  28. Tiger Woods used Nike clubs some time ago and they were awfull. If Tiger Woods couldn't play well with Nike clubs neither will R.M. I am a Sr. golfer and hacker purchased Nike clubs and went from a 7 handicap to off the charts can not hit with Nikes at all. The Nike clubs are dreadful. Switch back to any other brand and McIlroy will improve. Tell the kid to get rid of the phone also.

  29. At least McIlroy's excuse for messing up was less visible than Tiger Woods'.

  30. He should have finished the round and then taken a flight to wherever Caroline Wozniaki is located.

  31. It's hard to forget sometimes that these people are human. As a longtime Tiger fan, if there is anyone to take the mantle of world number 1 from him, it couldn't be a better guy than Rory. He seems like a genuinely nice kid. He'll get through this. It reminds me of the story of when, just after signing his Nike mega-deal early in his career, Tiger was lamenting all the attention he got. He was eating lunch with Arnold Pal,er at the time, who told him, "If you don't like it, just give the money back."

  32. Did Diane get his number? Who are the six previous pros that Tom played with?

  33. From where I sit in NE Afghanistan, this is a pretty gut wrenching story.
    The old, patch 'em up and send them back out may work for us, but it is easy to see how a tooth ache might unhinge a 23 year old golf superstar. The crushing weight of fan expectations, not to mention the paralyzing anxiety of trying to live up to the performance standards that come with an endorsement contract worth tens of millions of dollars. It's enough to cause anyone to want to go AWOL. Still, Rory's an inspiration. Talking to one of my platoon mates who lost a foot two days ago, he said he thought he might take up golf once he gets outfitted with a prosthesis back home.

  34. Rory will be back, on top, by the end of the year, "Mark My Words!"

    If you remember, he started off, badly, last year, but finished, GOOD!

  35. One of golf's distinguishing characteristics is sportsmanship. Too bad young Mr. McIlroy isn't exhibiting it.

  36. 18 Holes of Greed. It's worldwide, not exclusive to Wall Street or corporate America. It's all about the money, and anyone who says its not is trying to spin a fairy tale. The sports-supply company Nike wants to own everyone celebrated, and they almost do:Tiger, Lance, Roger, et al. An American company that does much for its stockholders but little for our economy continues to monopolize some of the world's greatest athletes as models for their equipment. It will take Rory at least this year to pull himself out of the slump. Now, it seems to have permeated his mind and confidence. Sure makes you want to go out and buy Nike clubs, doesn't it?

  37. I was sorry to see Rory McIlroy sign with Nike, he had established a great image without the company and now is owned by them. Too much pressure, from Nike and sports press.

  38. Harry is dead right. The Nike clubs are just not the same in terms of feel and results. However, since he can't do that having accepted Nike money, he is just going to have to spend the extra time on the range instead of the fun time that now occupies his life. A bit of suffering will not hurt him. In the meantime he will just have to watch as others walk off with his dreams. But he will be back in full force as everyone knows. Maybe now Tiger can win another major.

  39. Concern crept in the day he put pen to paper; panic is what's now taking hold.
    Rory's been using Titleist equipment his entire life. No matter how adept other companies are at producing prototypes (i.e., replicating his old stuff), it's just not the same; not only is the feel at odds with what he's used to, but the aesthetics of the club at address are completely different.
    And when you couple the fact that he's not been swinging well in 2013 with the fact that he may have some innate mistrust of his equipment, that is hardly a recipe for success in the highest echelons of the game.
    This was a full 14-club switch, too, which means the Scotty Cameron putter that was tailor-made for him by the man himself is gone as well. Rory's swan song with Titleist, let's not forget, was a 6-birdie finish in Dubai that saw him cap off a year in which he won the PGA and European Tour money titles, the Player of the Year award, his second major championship (won, just as his first one was, by eight shots), the Vardon Trophy, two FedExCup events in a row, and saw him cement himself atop the World Golf Rankings.
    ...This is not exactly what one would call a confidence-inducing way to begin his Nike campaign. But Rory McIlroy is the most gifted player I've seen in my lifetime. I'm sure he'll do whatever it takes to get his game back; his career means too much to him to see it take a permanent nosedive.
    Rory's played well at Doral in the past. With Augusta in a month, now-or-never approaches.

  40. Last week Johnny Miller said to the effect how now a days legends are made of golfers who have won couple of tournaments. Rory is talented but he still has to prove a lot before he becomes a true golf celebrity. All the stuff, good and bad, about Rory is exaggerated by the media.

  41. Johnny Miller of all people should know.

  42. what a quitter!!! this is a person we want our children to have as a role model, so when it gets tuff, a guy like this just gives up!!! He asked to be on TV and he asked to play on the PGA, live up to it, was he afraid of going into the record books as listed as the worst player in this particular event? Lost all respect for the boy! Tell him to go crawl under a rock and hide his weak minded face!

  43. McIlroy can't get used to the Nike clubs. If he doesn't go back to Titleist, he will damage hid career, and may never get it back. Sure Nike can build him exact club replicas, but it's all in the head. He took the gold, and now has to pay the price. Even at this early stage, he's lost his mojo.

  44. "(A) multimillion-dollar home in a gated community...the local populace largely left him alone." sounds just a touch nightmarish. Perhaps he needs to get out more.

  45. Clubs...aint broke...dont fix it...hope he has an escape clause in the deal with Nike