x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Off-form Rory McIlroy should borrow from US president Barack Obama

He has resembled more the late Woodrow Wilson than the world's second-best golfer in recent times. But can he return to form? Yes, he can.

Rory McIlroy's game has made it hard even for him to witness at times. But he's been through this kind of thing before.
Rory McIlroy's game has made it hard even for him to witness at times. But he's been through this kind of thing before.

Barack Obama, when addressing an audience in Northern Ireland this week, made mention of one of the country's favourite sons, among such as Seamus Heaney and WB Yeats.

"I did meet Rory McIlroy last year, and Rory offered to get my swing sorted," said the US president, an ardent golfer. "Which was a polite way of saying, 'Mr President, you need help'."

It elicited applause yet, given the brand of humour in those parts, some suggested Obama should be offering the tips.

Aside from rare glimpses of his 2012 brilliance, with club in hand McIlroy has resembled more Woodrow Wilson than the world's second-best golfer.

McIlroy has only four top-10 finishes from 12 events this season, while his change of equipment, the walk-off at the Honda Classic and the uncertainty surrounding his management have dominated the news.

Much like his game, McIlroy seems out of sync. His rocky US Open included him bending his wedge in anger during the final round.

But he has been here before.

Midway through 2012, he had four missed cuts and a poor British Open, then won the US PGA Championship, topped both money lists and established himself as the world No 1.

The problems appear more deep-rooted, but do not write off the most talented player to pick up a club since Tiger Woods.

Can McIlroy bounce back?

To paraphrase an Obama campaign phrase, yes he can.

jmcauley@thenational.ae

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