Thursday, July 21, 2011

Rory McIlroy Must Adapt Game In Order To Be Great, Say Senior PGA Stars

After Rory McIlroy Won the U.S. Open in record fashion, many golf pundits said he had all the potential to become one of golf's greatest ever.

One short month later, his performance at the Open Championship in Sandwich, England, highlighted a weakness of McIlroy's game.  This weakness, according to some of golf's senior players, needs to be addressed in order for McIlroy to reach those dizzying heights that many predicted for him last month.
"I'm not a fan of golf tournaments that the outcome is predicted so much by the weather.
It's not my sort of golf," he said, following the Open Championship, where he finished well out of the leaders.
It's an interesting comment, considering he grew up in northern Scotland, and played on the kinds of links courses that he now seems to dislike.  A links course is the oldest form of golf course, originating in Scotland, and frequently placed in a coastal region where its location predisposes it to potentially extreme weather conditions.

Indeed, Nick Price, who won three majors, said this of McIlroy's comments regarding links courses:
"He has to get his mindset right for that -- he's going to have 20 or 30 Open Championships in his career and he doesn't want to have that attitude," Price said. "He'd better get out there and start liking those courses and figure out a way to play. If he's a good enough player, he will do that.
"Every great player adapts to the conditions. He may not like it as much as playing on parkland courses but he will learn, I guarantee it."
 It was an idea echoed by other senior players, but Tom Watson had a more optimistic view:

"Honestly, he sounded like I did when I was his age playing links golf," Watson said. "I did not like links golf. I did not like the bounce. I did not like the firmness of the greens, and the wind so much, and I didn't like the uncertainty. When I hit a shot the way I thought it should go, it should stop. In American golf, it stops where you want it.
"He'll change. He'll get to a point where he'll understand the difficulties in the way that you have to manage yourself on links golf courses."
McIlroy Hits Shot Out of Rough On Final Day Of Open Championship
AP Photo/Matt Dunham

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