Friday, March 27, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

On Golf: McIlroy will emerge even stronger than ever

By
July 23, 2014 |

HOYLAKE, England — The celebration began long before Rory McIlroy had a chance to drink out of the claret jug.

McIlroy was upstairs in the clubhouse at Royal Liverpool for the traditional toast with the R&A, unable to ignore the chants below from club members waiting for a glimpse of the British Open champion.

“Rory! Rory! Rory!”

It was a raucous scene for a club that starts with “Royal,” but such is the personality of Liverpool. The members booed anyone who came down the stairs who did not have curly brown hair, freckles and a claret jug. And their cheers shook the brick clubhouse when Boy Wonder finally descended with the oldest trophy in golf.

The scene was so much different a year ago.

McIlroy stood on a podium in a makeshift tent outside Muirfield, speaking to reporters with a vacant look in those brown eyes. He had just opened with a 79, his worst start ever in a major in what was shaping up as a year to forget. He had no idea what was wrong with him or his game.

“Sometimes I feel like I’m walking around out there and I’m unconscious,” he said that day. “I just need to try to think more. I’m trying to focus and trying to concentrate but, yeah, I can’t really fathom it at the minute.

“I’m definitely under thinking on the golf course. Maybe overthinking off it.”

He looked lost.

Now he looks like the best player in golf. And odds are, the worst of times might lead to the best.

If he felt unconscious on the golf course a year ago, he looked unconscious at times at Royal Liverpool. His golf was simply explosive on Friday afternoon with two bursts of birdies, and plenty of chances in between, on his way to a 66. The defining moment of this championship was Saturday, when McIlroy went from a share of the lead to six shots clear in just over an hour. He made eagle on two of the last three holes with two mammoth drives, two pretty swings and two perfect putts.

Nothing came easily to McIlroy over the last 18 months.

He was criticized for swapping out equipment when he signed a megadeal with Nike. He showed his age when he quit in the middle of the Honda Classic and initially blamed it on a sore wisdom tooth. He changed agents for the second time, and lawsuits followed that are still to be decided in court. He got engaged to tennis player Caroline Wozniacki to start the new year, then broke it off with a telephone call in May.

And there he was on Sunday, introduced as the “champion golfer of the year,” his name etched in silver, his eyes gazing at all the names on that claret jug.

Asked for a low point during his struggles, McIlroy didn’t hesitate.

“This time last year,” he said.

Through it all, the 25-year-old from Northern Ireland never doubted he could return. He won the U.S. Open and the PGA Championship by eight shots. That wasn’t an accident. He won the money title on both sides of the Atlantic. There was never a question of his skill.

“It was just trying to find a way to make it come out again,” McIlroy said. “But yeah, definitely, missing the cut at Muirfield last year was a very low point. I never missed a cut at The Open before. I said to myself, ‘I’ll try to never make that happen again.’ It’s been huge what a difference a year makes. But it’s turned into a great year.”

And the tough times should only lead to better times.

Tom Watson knows that as well as anyone. He flopped badly in his first couple of shots at a major until he won the Open at Carnoustie in 1975, the first of eight majors and a career that ranks among the best. He played the British Open for the 37th time. Watson has seen a lot in his career, and failure piques his interest as much as success.

“He’s gone through a struggle with his golf game over a period of time,” Watson said of McIlroy. “And now it seems like he’s got it back. And you learn a lot from your failures. And he’ll come back stronger if you fail. I know it was a burden on him. The frustration was there with him. All golfers feel the same frustration. You’ve gone through the low spells. You’ve gone through the times where you couldn’t break an egg.

“And then finally, all of a sudden, the light switch will turn on … and it gets easy. That’s what happened to me many times in my career. And it seems like it’s happened to Rory.”

Where does McIlroy go from here? He has moved to No. 2 in the world behind Adam Scott. Even though the PGA Championship is three weeks away, his eyes already are looking ahead to Augusta National in April, a shot at the Masters to become only the sixth player to complete the career Grand Slam.

“When he’s in rhythm, he’s phenomenal,” Scott said. “He doesn’t have weaknesses and he has more strengths than most anyone else. When he’s in rhythm, you’ll see him shoot low numbers all the time.”

 

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Everyday life inspires model’s music

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
Hosting gig for comic, birthday party on weekend schedule

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
Brasher new president, CEO of Jelly Belly

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A1, 2 Comments | Gallery

Rio Vista singer ready for Rancho Cordova show

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
 
 
Spring Fling set to return to Rancho Solano

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Kids fishing day events return

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Fairfield police log: March 25, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Suisun police log: March 25, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

.

US / World

Co-pilot believed to have purposefully crashed plane

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Lawyers dispute hoax claim, boyfriend says he was drugged

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
L.A. river revamp to cost double previous projections

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
State to alter ban on where sex offenders can live

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Governor awaits $1B drought relief bill

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
US drops graphic leaflet to possible Islamic State recruits

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

AP Exclusive: Special ops troops using flawed intel software

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Talent agency wants Matt McConaughey speaking fee secret

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Grateful Oklahomans salvage belongings after killer storm

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Fact Check: Myths in the political roar over Common Core

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
US: Chicago-area cousins planned US terrorist attack

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Report: Teen says mom killed her siblings found in freezer

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
House OKs bipartisan Medicare doctor bill; fate up to Senate

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Tunisians assure Star Wars sets safe from Islamic State

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
US Thunderbolt II attack planes on training in Poland

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Syrian government shells kill 18 in south, activists say

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Turmoil in Yemen escalates as Saudi Arabia bombs rebels

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Russian, American ready for a year in space

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
.

Living

Today in History: March 27, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: March 27, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Horoscopes: March 27, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

 
Parents may be enabling son’s drinking and hurting his employment chances

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

.

Entertainment

Week in preview March 27 to April 3, 2015

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
‘Downton Abbey’ to end after upcoming 6th season

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

With ‘Downton Abbey’s coming demise, here are 5 past deaths

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Ken Burns unravels the mysteries of cancer in PBS film

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Review: Animated alien adventure ‘Home’ lands with a thud

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
Entertainment Calendar: March 27, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: B4

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic | From Page: B6

 
.

Sports

Marleau, Niemi lead Sharks past Red Wings 6-4

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
Warriors can match franchise record for wins at Memphis

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

Prep swimming preview: City teams look to make big splash

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
Notre Dame races by Wichita State 81-70 for Elite Eight spot

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Kentucky overwhelms West Virginia 78-39 in NCAA Sweet 16

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
San Diego city, county join forces on bid to keep NFL

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Labor, developers reach deal on proposed Inglewood stadium

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Italians will pull out of America’s Cup if boats downsized

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Fiancee of Aaron Hernandez to be called to testify Friday

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Stanford’s VanDerveer, Notre Dame’s McGraw to face off

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Signups for Friday, March 27, 2015

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B8

 
Former Germany coach Berti Vogts joins Klinsmann’s US staff

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Officials OK demolishing Irwindale Speedway for outlet mall

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Sharks sign 2 college players

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Top-seeded Wisconsin hangs to beat North Carolina 79-72

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
49ers waive OL Jonathan Martin after 1 season with team

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

This date in sports history for March 27, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
Mirim Lee leads LPGA Tour’s Kia Classic

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

 
Charley Hoffman takes PGA lead in wind-swept Texas Open

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

.

Business

Range Rover offers an exclusivity that’s rich with irony

By The Washington Post | From Page: C1

 
Google’s new CFO gets $70M for defecting from Morgan Stanley

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

Bankruptcy hearing could decide fate of RadioShack

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
Microsoft wants US suppliers to give employees paid time off

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

Lawmakers unhappy with new fracking rules

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11 | Gallery

 
Authorities go after crooked car deals in national crackdown

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

Oil prices jump almost 5 percent as tensions mount in Yemen

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
New Samsung, HTC phones coming April 10 in US

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

.

Obituaries

Helen Kalis

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Carol A. Vose

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9