Thursday, 8 August 2013

McGinley Downplays Rory Struggles

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Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley believes Rory McIlroy's current struggles should be kept in perspective as the former world number one gets the defence of his US PGA Championship under way at Oak Hill.

McIlroy won five times last year, including his second major by eight shots at Kiawah Island, to finish top of the money list on both sides of the Atlantic.

But he has recorded only one top-five finish in a turbulent 2013 that saw him damage his reputation by walking off the course during his defence of the Honda Classic and bending one of his new clubs out of shape during the final round of the US Open.

In the majors he has managed just one round under 70 - a closing 69 in the US Masters - and is a collective 28 over par after missing the cut in the Open after rounds of 79 and 75.

That opening round at Muirfield led McIlroy to offer a withering assessment of his own performance, labelling it "brain dead," but McGinley is not overly concerned.

"We are all in the game of professional golf, we all know there's ups and downs. We've all experienced them," McGinley said.

"Tom Watson was in here earlier, and nobody can tell you more about the ups and downs in the game than he's had, and look at his career; Jack Nicklaus, something similar.

"Tiger Woods is on a high and this time a year ago or two years ago, he was on a real low. So we all know what it's like and I think Rory knows that as well, too.

"Everybody has got a public opinion about Rory and everybody wants to throw their weight in and say he needs to do this and he needs to do that. To be honest I don't want to add to that and say Rory needs to do this and needs to do that.

"He knows I'm supportive of him. I'm there if he wants to call. I don't want to get too much involved in what he's doing. It's his own private life and circle of friends and people around him.

"Just because I'm Ryder Cup captain I don't feel like it's my right or my duty to get involved in what he's doing in his life. I think he's got some good people around him. He's making some decisions. He's making some adjustments in his life.

"If you look over the spectrum of his career, we are talking about a small part of his career the last six or seven months. That will be a little bit insignificant.

"As things move on and time goes on, he will get his form back and he'll have his success again and we'll be thinking, 'Oh yeah, I remember when he was off his game'."

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