Rory McIlroy this week has put aside his unofficial role of mouthpiece for the PGA Tour and is freshly focused on letting his game do the talking as he prepares for the season’s second major.
McIlroy, an oft and outspoken critic of the renegade LIV Golf Series, has suddenly – this week at least – gone mute on the subject as he takes aim at another Wanamaker Trophy in the friendly terrain of Rochester, N.Y.
At a press conference Tuesday at Oak Hill Country Club, where he is a member, McIlroy declined to speculate on where professional golf would be in three years, an obvious entrée into the LIV discourse. He later gave a one-word answer if he’s intentionally sidestepping the LIV-PGA Tour mud-slinging:
McIlroy is still stinging from his poor performance last month at the Masters, the one major he needs to complete the career Grand Slam. Then there’s the $3 million in bonus money he was docked by the PGA Tour for missing a second designated event, the RBC Heritage, the week after Augusta.
Regardless, McIlroy is working on getting his mind right while trying to snap an eight-year drought without a major championship. The last came in 2014 – the PGA Championship at Valhalla in Kentucky.
It’s one thing to not win the Masters but another to miss the cut.
“I was never so sure that I was going to have a great week at Augusta,” McIlroy said Tuesday. “Never so sure, and then that happens. It was a great lesson for me to not put too much into feelings or vibes.
“Golf is golf, and it happens and you’re going to have bad days,” McIlroy added. “It wasn’t really the performance of Augusta that’s hard to get over, it’s the mental aspect and the deflation of it and sort of trying to get your mind in the right place to start going forward again, I guess.”
Since March, McIlroy has finished T2 at the Arnold Palmer, a missed cut at The Players, solo third at the WGC-Dell Technologies and the T47 at Wells Fargo a month after Augusta.
“You’re always going to have your ups and downs in the game,” McIlroy said. “I mean, I have to go out there and just hit good golf shots and respect the golf course and play the golf course the right way. But no, there’s nothing drastic that I need to change. I’ve been working a little bit on my swing the last couple of weeks trying to get that back in order. If I can execute the way I feel I know that I can, then I should be OK.”
–Field Level Media