Rory McIlroy isn’t the only one searching for answers at the 2013 British Open. The Ulsterman struggled in his opening round at Muirfield, carding an eight over par 79. There are currently only 19 players under par and another 15 at level par. The means the vast majority of the field is on the wrong side of event right now. However, McIlroy is much closer to the bottom of the leaderboard than he is to the top.
To say that it’s been a tumultuous six months would be an understatement. It seems as if every time McIlroy puts together a quality round or two he ends up imploding not long after. He clearly wasn’t ecstatic about his performance in the first round of the Open Championship, but insists on telling everyone that nothing is wrong. At this point I’m not sure whether he is trying to convince the world of that fact or if he’s trying to convince himself. “Sometimes I feel like I’m walking around out there, and I’m unconscious,” McIlroy said after his round. “I just need to try to think more. I’m trying to focus and trying to concentrate. But yeah, I can’t really fathom it at the minute, and it’s hard to stand up here and tell you guys what’s really wrong.”
Unfortunately for McIlroy, it’s hard to concentrate when you feel as if you’re brain-dead. “It’s just so brain-dead. Seriously, I feel like I’ve been walking around out there like that for the last couple months. I’m trying to get out of it. I just don’t quite know why.” The fact that McIlroy has seemingly shrugged offerings of assistance at just about every turn is mind boggling. It’s clear that he knows something isn’t clicking for him mentally.
McIlroy needs to understand that there is nothing wrong with seeking or accepting help – it doesn’t make him weak. In fact, I’d argue that it would indicate a new level of maturity. It would also help him to start earning some bigger paychecks and put a few more check marks in the win column. At the very least, the result would be more consistent performances on the golf course. Until he matures enough to accept assistance, however, this ugly downward spiral will continue.