Rory McIlroy, were he responsible for his own date book, would likely try to work out his game’s many glitches in another competitive event before next month’s British Open. Tiger Woods’ Nike stablemate, however, is apparently a slave to the swoosh and, after missing the cut at the Irish Open with a new Covert driver in his bag, will honor sponsor obligations rather than play in either the French Open or Scottish Open.
"I have got a couple of commitments next week and the week after as well," McIlroy told Ewan Murray after finishing his abbreviated week at Carton House Golf Club at 2-over par and out of the tournament. "If I didn't have those couple of things to do over the next couple of weeks, I probably would have added an event."
It’s difficult to determine what’s more alarming about the admission from the world No. 2, who won’t retain that second ranking much longer unless he figures out how to use his sticks -- the fact that schmoozing with the suits takes precedence over the work he so obviously needs inside the ropes, or that the boys from Beaverton have yet to cobble together the right specs for his tools.
"I had a new driver in my bag this week," McIlroy said. "It was still not 100 percent what I want so I will do some testing next week.”
McIlroy acknowledged earlier this season that he erred by not giving himself more competitive starts after swapping his two-time major championship-winning Titleist clubs for Nikes.
“I might have played one more event in the Middle East, not taken that four-week break after Abu Dhabi,” McIlroy told reporters after finishing T45 at the Shell Houston Open. He missed the cut in Abu Dhabi, his first tourney of the season.
McIlroy whistled a similar tune a month later.
“If I had to do it again, I'd probably play a couple extra tournaments at the start of the year just to learn a little bit more,” he said before finishing in a tie for eighth at The Players Championship in May.
With the Open Championship looming in under three weeks, it appears as if McIlroy may once again rue not adding at least one more contest to his calendar. Should he change his mind, the French Open starts on July 4, with the Scottish event on tap a week later.
As for his bats, McIlroy contended, despite accuracy and short-game woes contributing to his latest poor performance in a season rife with them, that his self-assurance had not wavered. Time was on his side, averred the 24-year-old from Northern Ireland.
"I am still confident in my ability to hit the golf ball and to hit shots," McIlroy told Murray. "I just need to put in the hard work, put in the hours. Two weeks is a long time to get something right."
Maybe, but it’s been almost six months since Nike outed Rory as its newest cash cow and McIlroy, who immediately switched back to his old Scotty Cameron putter, is still trying “to get something right.”