European Tour: Rory McIlroy Struggles in Front of Home Crowd at Irish Open

By Carl Conrad
rory mcilroy irish open
Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports

Rory McIlroy is pulling out all the stops in the hopes of getting things moving in the right direction. Unfortunately for the Ulsterman, not even a home game seems to have the ability to pull him out of his funk right now. McIlroy is playing in the Irish Open on the European Tour this week. And he’s not playing particularly well and he, of all people, can’t really use the weather as an excuse.

A steady rain was falling at Carton House GC on a day where McIlroy fired a two over par 74, putting him eight shots off of the lead at the conclusion of day one. The former number one ranked golfer in the world is clearly searching for something that he has yet to find. “At the moment, no aspects of my game are strong and I’m just feeling a bit lost at the moment,” he said. “It feels good on the range and I can hit all the shots but when I get out on the course it really does not seem to be there.” Although it is somewhat refreshing to hear a pro athlete speak so candidly, it’s never a good sign when they admit to feeling lost.

McIlroy’s game is all over the place this year. He finished second at the Valero Texas Open and then proceeded to miss the cut in Abu Dhabi a few weeks later. He is in his own head and seems to be psyching himself out. I think that his issues began with the switch to Nike equipment. When that change didn’t produce immediate success he started to press. When pressing didn’t work, that’s when the panic set in.

He clearly has the ability to turn things around in order to be competitive from time to time. Once he hits a hiccup, however, the problems are exacerbated by his lack of confidence. I’ve been saying it all along – he just needs to stop thinking and play golf, because he’s still one hell of a golfer.

Carl Conrad is the Senior Golf Writer for Follow him on Twitter or add him to your network on Google.

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