Ryder Cup: Commentator says Rory McIlroy has been ‘scapegoat’
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Rory McIlroy revealed he was ‘done with golf’ following his Ryder Cup disappointment, before then going on to clinch his 20th PGA Tour title at the CJ Cup in his very next start last week.
McIlroy endured an uncharacteristically difficult week at Whistling Straits as he lost three of his four games played, whilst also being dropped from a session for the very first time in his Ryder Cup career on the Saturday.
The Northern Irishman’s only point of the week came in the final session of the week as he defeated Olympic champion Xander Schauffele, however it proved too little too late for the Europeans forcing an emotional McIlroy to break down in tears during his post-round interview.
However the four-time major champion reacted in perfect style as he collected his 20th PGA Tour title with victory at last week’s CJ Cup, in a first start since his Ryder Cup heartbreak.
What makes McIlroy’s victory even more remarkable is the fact the Northern Irishman admitted he was ‘done with golf’ just three weeks prior to the win, after he endured another dismal day in Wisconsin.
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The 20-time winner said: “On the Saturday night at the Ryder Cup I was done with golf. I didn’t want to see golf again until 2022.”
Whilst briefing the world’s media following his triumph in Las Vegas, McIlroy went on to reveal that his Sunday singles win over Schauffele gave him the spark he needed to regain his motivation to get back into the winners’ circle.
He added: “Then I talked about that Sunday singles match and that sort of sparked a little bit of a flame again, and I was like ‘you know I think I might have figured something out here, let me play a few more times before the season is done’.”
The 2014 Open champion most definitely went through a rollercoaster of emotions during a tough week in Wisconsin, however if it was not for his win over Schauffele on the Sunday McIlroy would still be without a 20th PGA Tour title.
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The Northern Irishman went on: “Saturday night at the Ryder Cup I certainly wasn’t going to be here [CJ Cup].
“Then Sunday night of the Ryder Cup I thought ‘you know go to Vegas, go to CJ and try to build on this little bit of a breakthrough that I’ve had’. So yeah I had a little change of schedule there.”
McIlroy has gone through – by his high standards – a slight career lull over the past 18 months, as he recently dropped out of the world’s top 15 for the first time since 2009 (before returning soon after).
Despite this the four-time major winner still had plenty of confidence in his game, as he revealed he felt he was still ‘the best player in the world’ heading to Vegas last Thursday.
The Northern Irishman then no doubt lived up to his high expectations by going on to clinch the CJ Cup title, making him realise that he ‘just has to be himself’ in order to return to his past successes.
McIlroy said: “I feel like the last couple of weeks I’ve realised that just being me is good enough.
“Maybe the last few weeks I was trying – not trying to be someone else – but maybe trying to add things to my game, or take things away from my game. I know when I do the things that I do well this is what I’m capable of.
“I’m capable of winning a lot of events on the PGA Tour and being the best player in the world, which is something we talked about at the start of the week as well. So it is just a matter of me getting back to playing golf, and playing golf my way.”
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