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Looks like Wunder Kid is stumbling a bit


Fac ut gaudeam
Supporting Member
Sep 1, 2004
Northern Ireland's very own Rory McIlroy appears to be struggling a wee bit with his game right now, let's hope he has just hit a bit of a speed bump. After easily missing the cut last week, he has followed it up with an opening 76 in Korea (only hitting 4 fairways!). Many folks are touting this kid to be Tiger's next main rival. As a fellow Irishman I want to see this talent flourish, but I'm just wondering if life on the tour is starting to take it's toll.

With an excellent amateur pedigree the teenager chose to go straight onto the Tour bypassing college. There are not many kids of his age (18) who have chosen this route and succeeded. Sergio is one of the few I can recall. But he surpassed all the armchair critics (of which I excel) by getting his Tour card easily last year.Swing gurus are saying that this is "the swing of the future". There is a lot of expectation this year that he will win a tournament and even make the Ryder Cup. No pressure then Rory, eh?

Adapting to life on the road in different cities and continents is tough. And throw in the balancing act of sponsor obligations, media, travel, playing etc. and put them onto the shoulders of a kid and it will obviously take it's toll. Hit a few bad rounds and everyone will chip in with swing suggestions that will probably do no more than clutter his mind and play on his confidence. I'm just wondering what we are seeing over the last few weeks is a natural consequence in his early career. Personally I think this could be a good thing, that this little blip will ground him a bit and inject a dose of reality.

A good example of what I mean is Justin Rose. He shot into the public domain several years ago finishing 4th as an "teen wonder" at Birkdale. He was automatically catapulted to the status of "the next Tony Jacklin" at 17 years old. He was hit at that point with a "clusterfxck of rubbish". What followed was a lengthy slide into obscurity as he missed umpteen cuts in a row. It took him a long time to get it back, a lot of grinding on the mini-tours, but he got through it and admitted himself that it was the best thing that could have happened. Because he came back even better. He is now in the Top 10 and my red hot tip for a major in 2008. Another example of this was Gordon Sherry, a Scottish amateur tipped as the next big thing. He too was hit with a clusterfxck after finishing 4th in the Scottish Open as an amateur. And he succumbed to the sponsorship money that was thrown at him at the cost of his golf. Unfortunately he never fulfilled his potential and never made it past that singular glory.

So young Rory my message to you is this. Use these past and future weeks as a learning ground. Learn to adapt. Experience the traveling, manage your sponsors, get comfortable with the media etc. but start to build a focus. Learn to make decisions for yourself and not be left solely to your management team's infinite wisdom. Keep things simple, maintain your belief. And "wonderful things will happen".

Or maybe I am talking arse. Maybe he is just going through a simple swing change? Or is it just a blip / confidence trough. Maybe he will come out and win next week and this thread will come back to haunt me. My heart says yes, but my mind says no. We'll see, I do wish him well though. He is a talent, a talent that shot a 61 around Royal Portrush in an amateur championship. I shook his hand that day and I want to tell my kids that I once shook the hand of a Major winner.


Well-Known Member
May 9, 2007
M...its got to be a huge adjustment for the kid...from going from a very settled life in Ireland staying in the same house and playing the usual amateur comps to flying around in strange places and having a huge amount of freedom and new experiances...

I would imagine that the asian swing of the tour would be very tough going in the first season...he's a rookie..he doesn't know everyone on tour..he has to deal with new courses and the travelling circus that can be the tour...

remember when he played last year in some tour events they were based in europe...

I predict his scoring will improve when he gets back to more familiar hunting grounds...

I think its often underapprciated how tough the European tour is from a pure travel and logistics perspective...different cultures, food, languages...especially on the current asian swing where we always see a few surprise winners and I often think its because the are more familiar with the climate...conditions etc..


Future Pro!
Oct 13, 2007
There's no doubting that he's got some serious game in him. As IG said, it took him three events to gather enough cash to get his card, which is a hell of an achievement in itself. He started well on the tour at the very end of the year too, being in contention in Spain/Portugal.

I think, like Irish, that the Asian leg of the tour is probably his hinderance right now, but he'll bounce back, and I reckon looking at him, he won't demote himself to mini-tours to settle down, but will come back strong in the next few weeks when the tour moves over to mainland Europe etc.


Junior Pro
Jun 14, 2007
I hope he does good. We need a good player to go against Tiger. I still would like tiger to win but having a rival makes watching it some much better.


Well-Known Member
Dec 31, 2006
I here the guy is good and I have seen him play a little, but lets see if he can be a rival to Anthony Kim first, before Tiger.


Gimme some roombas!
Aug 13, 2006
Lots of hopes for the kid. Seems like he might have the weight of Europe on his shoulders. I wish him the best, but he isn't the first. As mentioned, Sergio and Justin Rose come to mind. Not that they are not fantastic players, they just aren't at that top tier.

Is this a GB or European thing to put a this pressure on young talent? We had a kid you might have heard of named Ryan Moore, who had possibly one of the best amateur years ever a couple year back. I don't remember all this talk about him being the next Tiger. Maybe it happened, but these young guys need to develop on their own without all these expectations.

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