"I didn't expect to be in this position"
By mustang6560 on 9/16/13

On the same day Jim Fuyrk joined the '59 Club' at Conway Farms, Rory McIlroy carded a +7 77, which essentially ended his 2013 PGA Tour campaign.

There is no cut at the BMW Championship, so the Northern Irishman was able to play the weekend. But he won't be in Atlanta this week for the season-ending Tour Championship, a prospect he didn't envision back in January.
"If someone had asked me at the start of the year, would you be more surprised at not winning a major or not getting to the Tour Championship, of course I would have said the latter," McIlroy said. "The majors are based on one week, four times a year when a lot of things have to go your way.

"But over the course of the season, I feel like I should be able to play well enough to get to East Lake. I didn't expect to be in this position."
Rory won four times on the PGA Tour last season including the 2012 PGA Championship and two of the FedExCup Playoffs events. His best finish this year was a T2 at the Valero Texas Open.
"I'm working harder," said McIlroy, who shot rounds of 68-68 over the weekend for too little, too late. "Everything sort of came easy last year, and I'm sort of working harder, hitting more balls, spending more time on the range because I'm searching for it, and that's what is frustrating. But the fact that I'm working hard and I'm not really getting much out of it, if I can I keep patient and keep working hard, I'm sure it'll turn around."
Rory plans to take the next few weeks off before he embarks on an Asian swing before coming back Stateside to play in Tiger Woods' World Challenge event.

We can speculate all we want as to why Rory's season didn't pan out like he wanted (Was it the equipment change? The girlfriend?) but the reality is golf happened. Hopefully Rors is able to regroup over the next few months in preparation for the 2014 campaign.

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Image via Nike Golf

[ comments ]
birdieXris says:
I'll continue to say what i said when he made the change to nike. It's the equipment. Equipment for these guys is their magic wand. You have to know every little speck of it, every piece of metal, glue, rubber, and graphics. They have to know every inch of that face and what happens when they hit it square, when it's hit fat, and when they put a good move on it when there's a 2 shot deficit and their nerves are acting up. Rory doesn't know that. He's not going to know that for a while. No amount of hitting the clubs on the range is going to tell you what's up with your equipment. His sticks are letting him down, and in turn that's messing with his head which is compounding the situation.
BentSwing says:
If it takes a pro that long to adjust to new equipment, don't you think they'd be aware of that and prepare accordingly? At this point in the year he should be adjusted to his equipment unless he neglected to put in enough time. It's not an excuse with 2-3 events left and shooting +7. Also, we've seen him play well in a couple of events so obviously he knew his equipment well enough at some point right? I'm not even sure why we're discussing and irrelevant player right now lol.
jrbizzle says:
I agree with birdie, and Brent - I think you're also right. Should a pro know better, be able to adjust faster? Sure - and many do. The difference here is Rory is young, not as experienced with pressure, and changed out his entire bag, clothes, etc all at once so maybe it will take a little longer.
jasonfish11 says:
I dont think there is that much difference between clubs. Many of these guys get new clubs throughout the year. Yes generally with the same manufacturer but look how often the Taylormade guys change clubs. I think Taylormade comes out with a new set of clubs quicker than Apple makes new Iphones.
Scott Shields says:
Most clubs are the same sans label and shaft. Club heads are so similiar. These guys are the BEST golfers in the world -- I have a hard time swallowing that equipment in the reason. Its the indian, not the arrow.
srogers13 says:
Michael Collins of ESPN, who used to caddie on tour, has continually said it was not the club change, that it was the ball change.
ChrisW0521 says:
He will not get back to the Golfer he was until he goes back to his old clubs. There is NO WAY I would have switched to Nike especially after the way I he was playing. My opinion Nike made Tiger fall from the dominance he once had and it sent Duval into a golf spiral. Nike is not as good of golf equipment as other brands out there.
srogers13 says:
Chris, hate to burst your bubble, but Duval won the British Open with Nike clubs, his problems started with a snowboarding accident. And Tiger's troubles did not start with Nike, they started when his wife chased after him with that 9 iron. Maybe the snowboard was made by Nike.
jrbizzle says:
For those saying most clubs are relatively the same - sure for the most part. But these guys play so often that they get to know "their clubs", but they don't necessarily know what makes "their clubs" different. Small changes in weighting, feel, etc can make a difference when you're talking hitting your approaches 6-8 feet closer (difference between birdies and pars for many of these guys).

Johnny Miller played with the same clubs from his teen years through the beginning of his pro career, ground them down, lead taped 'em, etc and was an amazing iron player. Then he signed a new deal, ditched his old set and promptly fell apart for quite some time. He go tit back, but these guys will tell you - they want to know their swing, their equipment, their caddy and the course.
GBogey says:
I think that Rory is a golfer with a streaky swing - when he is "on" he is almost unbeatable, like Tiger in the Butch years, but when he is "off" he is average (for tour pros that is). I think lack of practice along with the new clubs clicked him "off" at the beginning of the year until it affected his confidence, at which point we all can relate to becoming really "OFF."
mmontisano says:
how can someone who won 5 times this year, 2 more than anyone else, not be considered dominant?

and it's not the clubs. we're in a different era than Johnny Miller. everything is specifically tuned to each players swing to get the best results. there have been a dozen wins this year from players using Nike clubs. and that's not counting the minor leagues. this "Nike makes inferior clubs" argument is lame.
slimpks1850 says:
Nike's # 1.
jrbizzle says:
Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying Nike clubs are inferior. I currently play a Nike Driver and it's the best driver I've ever had.

I'm sure there are a lot of issues at play here, equipment switch being one of them. If Rory was a guy who spent all his time working on this, maybe he would get through it quicker, or maybe if he was older, more experienced at changes. But he's a young guy, who just switched out his entire set of clubs and ball, and he's also a guy who jet sets around with his girlfriend and is keeping his face out there. I think he'll figure it out in time.

I just don't buy the argument that a pro is so good he can just grab another set of clubs with no adjustment. In fact, the fact that they are so good may work against them, as they are used to hitting shots within mere feet of their desired target, so anything off target has them perplexed of swing vs. club.

Who knows - I'm guessing Rory is back next year as good as usual. And let's not forget, other guys are stepping up also.
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