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Should we applaud or condemn Rory McIlroy’s attitude?

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As mentioned briefly in the Morning 9, Rory McIlroy spoke candidly about his pursuit of major glory.

Now 29 years old, McIlroy won the most recent of his four majors at the 2014 PGA Championship.

However, he seems at peace with his place in the game (and the world).

“Nothing is going to change in my life whether I win a major or not,” said McIlroy ahead of the Irish Open. “I’d be disappointed if I didn’t but I don’t panic. It doesn’t keep me up at night.”

“Look, if I didn’t win another major for the rest of my career, nothing is going to change in my life whether I win one or not, but obviously I don’t feel like I’ll have fulfilled my potential.”

Clearly, this is a healthy orientation with respect to one’s career, isn’t it? Have goals. Work toward them. But don’t let your career define you or dictate your happiness. That said, it’s a surprising admission from a top-tier professional athlete.

He continued in the same vein.

“But at the same time, you know, there’s other things in my life that are more important than golf….I’d be disappointed but again, it’s not going to change things. I don’t panic. It doesn’t keep me up at night.”

We assume too, that how much a player wants to win, thinks about winning, cares about winning dictates how much he does win (to a degree). We assume that anything resembling a blase attitude means a player isn’t practicing, isn’t leaving it all on the court.

But is this true? McIlroy seems to think that winning majors is all about putting yourself in position, and that’s what he aims to do.

“I’ve got two more chances this year to hopefully play myself into contention. That was my goal… to give myself a chance and to put myself in positions to see how I fare.”

That’s an attitude that is somewhat different than Tiger Woods’ historic, “I’m here to win,” orientation.

That said, you certainly can’t the man in the video below doesn’t have a killer instinct.

McIlroy’s formula for winning another major is interesting.

“You take way more risks when you’re a teenager… I just need to get back to playing the game like I was a teenager. Not be careful, not try to be too perfect. Not try to control things that you can’t control. Just go out and play your game..That’s the one thing that I need to do better and it’s more a mental thing rather than anything physical or anything. I just have to approach it better mentally.”

The approach above is probably pretty similar to how Rory plays the Ryder Cup–an event that obviously fires him up, where pins are more accessible and, because of formats, players are encouraged to take dead aim, as the worst-case scenario is merely losing a hole.

Plenty will drag the Ulsterman for his admissions, but ultimately, should we? Do we want our golfing superstars to be miserable unless they’re winning major championships? Is there some nobility and that orientation? Is there any reason to assume McIlroy is putting in less practice work and preparation than he was earlier in his career now that he’s a happily married man with a foundation and business interests?

Let us know what you think, GolfWRX members.

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35 Comments

35 Comments

  1. Bob Parson Jr.

    Jul 8, 2018 at 11:34 am

    If he wants to be happy with mediocrity, more power to him.

  2. SteveT

    Jul 5, 2018 at 10:20 pm

    Huge fan of GolfWrx and the hard work of their writers. However, is it just me, or as of late does it seem the articles are not being proofread for grammar? There are commonly typos throughout articles..

  3. Johnny Penso

    Jul 5, 2018 at 6:58 pm

    Rory can do as he pleases with his life that goes without saying, but it’s probably not a coincidence that he hasn’t won a major in 4 years with his length and prodigious talent in large part because he simply doesn’t want it badly enough. Tiger, Jack, Arnie, Lee, Gary and the few others at their elite level simply burned to win majors and to beat each other. Desire fuels success and Rory simply doesn’t have the desire any more. He’ll be happy to back into one.

  4. Carson Henry

    Jul 5, 2018 at 6:54 pm

    This is Rorys way of keeping an even keep and keeping his emotions in check. I actually DO believe it keeps him up at night, but admitting that will only foster negative thought.

  5. Scott Ivlow

    Jul 5, 2018 at 5:04 pm

    It’s interesting to focus on McIlroy comments on winning major championships. He has 26+ years to compete for them. Using Fred Couples as an example.But if you looked at Jack Nicholaus record on each individual Major tournament wins there are 8 year gaps. The gap between his last 2 Master wins was 11 years. On average there are 6 year gaps. In his last Major win in the Masters in 1986 was 6 years from his last Major win. Rory has a lot of time left to win Majors championships. I see Rory’s comments nothing more as a perspective of golfing life. No one can predict accurately on how many Majors a Pro Golfer will win in his entire career. Hense the prediction Tiger Woods will beat Jack Nicholas’ 18 Major wins. That doesn’t seem likely to happen between now and next year.

    • Johnny Penso

      Jul 5, 2018 at 6:55 pm

      You’re taking Jack’s entire career and averaging things out which is a bit off the mark. In his prime Jack won the Masters 5 times in 13 years, the U.S. Open 3 times in 11 years and the PGA 4 times in 13 years. Those aren’t 6 year gaps in his prime more like 2 years. When Rory is 46 we can look back at his averages and compare, right now he’s in his prime and if you’re going to compare him to Jack you need to compare him to Jack in his prime.

  6. Sean

    Jul 5, 2018 at 4:57 pm

    Golf is his job, not his life. I don’t see anything wrong with what he said.

  7. DJ

    Jul 5, 2018 at 4:40 pm

    This is what happens when Taylor Made signs the loser to a ten year, 100M dollar contract. He sure took them to the cleaners

  8. Terry, this is not a Game

    Jul 5, 2018 at 4:25 pm

    Sounds like an excuse for his underachieving

  9. William Davis

    Jul 5, 2018 at 2:42 pm

    Nothing to do with us, is it?

  10. Travis

    Jul 5, 2018 at 2:41 pm

    He’s under 30 with over $200M in the bank. Kind of hard to be just as motivated as he was when he first stepped out on the Tour years and years ago.

  11. Bob Jones

    Jul 5, 2018 at 2:05 pm

    Remember he is allowed to life his life the way he chooses and his choices or priorities are not ours to judge.

  12. Nick

    Jul 5, 2018 at 1:42 pm

    Seems like his comments are pretty reasonable and accurate. It’s not like he’s saying he doesn’t care about winning. It’s just that he’s not going to go in to a deep depression if he doesn’t win another major. It’s really hard to win majors even when you play really well.

  13. geohogan

    Jul 5, 2018 at 12:55 pm

    The only ones who care are his corporate sponsors.
    Who wants to pay tens and hundreds of millions to a player who doesnt care whether he wins or loses?

    Rory was to be the next great one , Great white hope, and became an ‘also ran’ instead, like Tiger.

    Big disappointment… to their sponsors.

    • Jason

      Jul 6, 2018 at 11:22 am

      LOL disappointment? Whoever’s commenting saying Rory took Taylormade to “the cleaners” and that he’s a disappointment is a moron. Doubt you have any idea what goes into a successful PGA Tour career, which is what Rory has.

      • geohogan

        Jul 6, 2018 at 8:16 pm

        Only a moron would pay a player huge sums of money to play his equipment and watch him
        miss cuts and announce he could care less if he wins tournaments.

  14. jf

    Jul 5, 2018 at 12:55 pm

    The guy wants to win and he works his butt off. This is entirely a mental approach that he has to tell/trick upon himself in order to stay composed. Look at that fire in from that video, that is what he is holding back in every “normal” event. Similarly, Dustin Johnson completely disconnects from the world when he is golfing and comes off as an aloof dummy, but in reality that is just his way of mentally allowing himself to physically play his best golf.

    Confusing…but if you followed me you can see that all of the best players in the world are able to “mentally trick themselves” into a mindset that differs from their “outside of golf mindset”, to play their best game.

  15. reqq

    Jul 5, 2018 at 12:39 pm

    Everyone is different and approach life in different ways, but still found his word puzzling. I mean its obvious your family is the most important for everyone on this planet yes? If you start to talk like this questions will start to arise how hard you want to win. Never heard Tiger or any other legendary sportsman talk like this.

  16. Liberty Apples

    Jul 5, 2018 at 12:33 pm

    Should we applaud or condemn careless writing?

    “That said, you certainly can’t the man in the video below doesn’t have a killer instinct.”

  17. Ted Waga

    Jul 5, 2018 at 12:11 pm

    I applaud him. He says it’s disappointing not to win but it’s also not the most important thing to him anymore. I’m certain that winning a major was the most important thing to him at one point but he is a little older and married now. His perspective has changed and that is is not a bad thing. Good on him for not accepting that the number of majors he wins defines him as a man.

  18. Roy

    Jul 5, 2018 at 12:08 pm

    Or we could accept the fact that its his life and our opinions on how he lives it are meaningless…

  19. Jamie

    Jul 5, 2018 at 12:05 pm

    Rory would be closer to fulfilling his potential if he wasn’t such an arrogant child. Has been since the first time I heard the way he speaks to others informally off-camera 10 years ago and a dozen times since. Money can’t buy maturity and wisdom.

  20. Louis Doucet

    Jul 5, 2018 at 12:01 pm

    Is it all you can find for article ?

  21. orly

    Jul 5, 2018 at 12:00 pm

    I think he’s won enough majors for him to have that view point. Rory is tied 20th for number of majors won all time. That’s incredible company to be in if he did nothing else the rest of his career.

  22. DTCMD

    Jul 5, 2018 at 12:00 pm

    Just Rory’s way of acknowledging that he isn’t as driven, or as good as Tiger Woods. No big deal.

    • JThunder

      Jul 5, 2018 at 1:03 pm

      Maybe he won’t destroy his own family like Tiger did!

  23. Mower

    Jul 5, 2018 at 11:58 am

    Should we applaud or condemn Rory McIlroy’s mindset?

    That sounds better.

  24. The dude

    Jul 5, 2018 at 10:36 am

    Really bad article…..why would anyone condemn him for those words???????

    • Ben Alberstadt

      Jul 5, 2018 at 10:47 am

      …did you read this article? I think I laid out the different perspectives.

      • Red hen

        Jul 5, 2018 at 1:32 pm

        Ben
        It seems like they all condemning you and the article

      • Bill Warner

        Jul 5, 2018 at 7:27 pm

        Ben,
        You could reveal the cure for cancer and there would still be a horde of negative thinkers trolling the web to throw dirt on you for doing what they cannot. Chin up lad…and 3 cheers for Rory for his honesty and candor. A breath of fresh air as compared to the Tiger of old.

    • JThunder

      Jul 5, 2018 at 1:08 pm

      “The dude” – you haven’t figured out sensationalist capitalist media yet. Extremism is the only way to get attention in an overcrowded internet. Be thankful it didn’t say “Should Rory get a medal or sentenced to death?” – or “Rory McIlroy sees god in his toast – or was it Satan”?

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19th Hole

68 at the British Open in the morning, golf with hickories at St Andrews in the afternoon

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Yes, golf fans, just another day in the charmed life (or week, at least) of one Brandon Stone.

Stoney (as I assume his friends call him), came to Carnoustie on the heels of a final-round 60 to win the Scottish Open. All he did in his opening round was fire a 3-under 68. Not bad!

But his Thursday to remember was only getting started as Stone made the 25-mile trip south to the Old Course to peg it…with a set of hickory clubs! Well played, sir, well played.

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Jean van de Velde’s 1999 British Open collapse is still tough to watch in LEGO form

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Gather ‘round, golf fans, for the saddest British Open story ever told–in LEGOs.

Maestro of the plastic medium, Jared Jacobs, worked his singular magic on Jean van de Velde’s notorious final-hole collapse at Carnoustie in 1999.

The interlocking plastic brick cinema begins after van de Velde’s approach shot has caromed off a grandstand railing to land on the opposite side of the Barry Burn.

 

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Sung Kang finally responds to cheating allegations

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Sorry to interrupt your regularly scheduled British Open programming, but Sung Kang stated today he still doesn’t think he didn’t anything wrong. “I followed the rules by the rules official…I think I did the right thing,” he said after his opening round at The Open.

Joel Dahmen, if you recall, accused the 31-year-old pro of taking a bad drop at the 10th hole during the final round of the Quicken Loans National.

The comments were Kang’s first public remarks since a statement co-released with the PGA Tour which said, “He is standing by the ruling that was made by PGA Tour Rules officials on Sunday and will have no further comment.”

While he stopped short of giving his side of the story, Kang did indeed make “further comment.”

Here’s some of what he said.

“I did not want to say anything bad about Joel. Because there can be difference of opinions. But the way he just said it on Twitter was not right. There can be different opinions. And also, it was made a decision by the rules official. So nothing was wrong.”

“I really want to say a lot of things about it, the truth about what happened, but no comment because I’m not going to say anything. I think I made the right decision. … Even when I say something, a few people still kind of think i still did something wrong. And if someone believes in me, they aren’t going to trust what Joel said.”

“No matter what I say, some people are going to trust it, some people are not going to trust it. And then I’m going to be thinking about it more and more. So I’m just focusing on my golf game.”

The British press asked Kang if he wishes he had done anything differently.

“No. Why? I did the right thing,” Kang replied.

Now, I’m not here to argue one way or the other, but the rules official wasn’t in position to do anything other than leave things at the player’s discretion, which he did. So, it’s misleading–if not downright deceptive–for Kang to suggest otherwise.

The official didn’t see the shot. There was no video of it. The only thing he had to rely on was the accounts of those who did see it. In a situation where accounts vary, and with the Rules of Golf relying on player integrity as they do, all he could do was leave the ball in Kang’s court. Thus, the decision as to where to drop was wholly Sung Kang’s.

Again, this isn’t to say the drop was necessarily bad, bad to play the “decision by the rules official” card is, well, a bad drop.

 

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