Rory McIlroy might be able to battle a robot, but he’s having a time fighting his own game as of late.
McIlroy looked like he was having a swell time showing "Jeff" how it’s done in the humorous European Tour commercial linked above, but the two-time major champion seems to have forgotten how to win when it counts. Now, after missing Friday's cut at the Irish Open, the two-time major champion will limp into the British Open looking for any positive signs he can muster.
The world's No. 2 golfer began the week in Ireland worried about being “suffocated” by expectations, conceded midway through his brief appearance at Carton House that he was “lost” and ended his two-day stint two shots off the cut line while contending he saw glimpses of hope in his game after a second-round even-par 72.
“Obviously, it wasn’t two days that I was hoping for, but today was a lot better than yesterday so I guess that was a good thing,” McIlroy told reporters after carding five birdies and five bogeys in his finale.
McIlroy blamed his short game for keeping him out of the weekend festivities, claiming his ball-striking was far better than it had been the day before.
“I took too many putts and didn’t get it up and down enough when I missed the green,” said McIlroy, mentioning he had plenty of time to turn around his disappointing game.
“I just need to put in the hard work and the hours and try to get ready for the Open Championship," the 24-year-old from Northern Ireland said. “Two weeks is a lot of time ... Hopefully I’ll be ready for Muirfield.”
McIlroy’s game has suffered dramatically since he dominated the world of golf in 2012. Since a very public equipment change, the world's No. 2 has posted just three top-10s in 10 PGA Tour tourneys with his most recent results being a T41 at the U.S. Open and a T57 at the Memorial.
Regarding that gear switch, by the way, McIlroy mangled one of his new Nike clubs during his meltdown at Merion and apparently tried to bend another across his back in Ireland.
Perhaps he can ask one of the 36-hole co-leaders for a replacement stick, though. Peter Uihlein, scion of Wally Uihlein -- the head suit of McIlroy's former equipment maker, Acushnet -- shared the lead midway through the Irish Open with Robert Rock.