Rory McIlroy is as much a social media maven as he is a gym rat, so it did not take the world No. 3 long to respond to Brandel Chamblee’s warning not to get as bulked up as Tiger Woods.
Of course, the winner of four major titles could just as easily have had the brash NBC/Golf Channel analyst in mind some 15 minutes earlier.
But we’re pretty sure Chamblee and all the other nervous Nellies (we’re looking at you, Hank Haney, Butch Harmon, Nick Faldo, et al) got the message McIlroy was seeking to convey with his pitch-perfect riposte.
In case you missed it, Chamblee on Tuesday conceded that he saw nothing in McIlroy’s play to date that would cause concern, but went ahead and repeated his warning to his pick to win the Masters in April -- not to bulk up like a certain 14-time major champion.
"I say it with a lot of trepidation, because it’s a different era for sure, and I don’t know the full extent of what he’s doing," Chamblee said during an NBC Sports teleconference boosting the upcoming Florida swing. "But when I see the things he’s doing in the gym, I think of what happened to Tiger Woods."
Chamblee and one of Woods’ former coaches, Haney, have been particularly outspoken in their shared belief that too much pumping iron contributed to the loss of flexibility, speed and length in the golf swing of the formerly top-ranked superstar, who remains on the DL with a bad back. Harmon, another of Tiger’s exes, has also chimed in with his worries about McIlroy following his idol’s size 11s into the weight room.
Just about to hit the gym, sometimes we need a reminder why we go in there and push ourselves... Here's mine... pic.twitter.com/AuC3zf0Gut— Rory Mcilroy (@McIlroyRory) February 4, 2014
It was Chamblee’s turn again on Tuesday to use Woods as a cautionary tale for the McIlroy, whose chiseled physique will make its 2016 PGA Tour debut this week at Riviera.
"I think more than anything of what Tiger Woods did early in his career with his game was just an example of how good a human being can be, what he did towards the middle and end of his career is an example to be wary of," Chamblee said. "That’s just my opinion. And it does give me a little concern when I see the extensive weightlifting that Rory is doing in the gym."
Despite the most recent admonitions to McIlroy about getting too bulked up, Chamblee acknowledged that he saw no reason to be alarmed just yet.
"Thus far there’s been no signs that it’s adversely affected his game," Chamblee said.
About those squats he was doing in his take-down tweet, McIlroy supplied the specifics and assured fans and critics alike he had no intention of becoming another Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Re the squats it was the last set of 3x3 at 120kg(265lbs). Did 3x10 at 100kg(225lbs) before that. I'm 165lbs. I'm a golfer not body builder— Rory Mcilroy (@McIlroyRory) February 17, 2016
McIlroy will make his first-ever start at the Northern Trust Open on Thursday. The muscular Men’s Health cover boy will start on No. 10 at 7:32 a.m. local time with Hideki Matsuyama and Matt Kuchar.
* * *
SB Nation video archives: Urban golfing with a U.S. Open champ (2012)