DUBLIN: Rory McIlroy’s frustrating season boiled over on the eve of the Irish Open in criticizing what he describes as the “negative spin” that’s been put on his recent performances.
The four-time Major winner is hosting the event at the K. Club and the first time the course, located just south of Dublin, has played host to a major tournament since staging the 2006 Ryder Cup.
Back then McIlroy was just 18 years of age and he had taken a three-hour bus ride leaving Belfast at 5.30am to witness the final round on Sunday.
In contrast, he returns to the course with his photograph appearing everywhere from Dublin Airport and all along the route to the course while his photograph is also on the official programme, draw sheets, entry tickets and car passes.
However, it’s now been more than six months since McIlroy last tasted success and that was in November’s European Tour season-ending DP World Tour Championship.
In that time, McIlroy has had six top-10 finishes including the latest in sharing fourth place a fortnight ago in the defense of his Wells Fargo Championship.
But after an indifferent Players Championship effort last week, that included see-saw rounds of 72, 64, 75 and 70, the current world number three is not too pleased what he’s been reading.
“I’m relaxed about it but it also frustrates me, I guess the negative spin that’s put on my form,” said McIlroy.
“I know expectations for myself are higher than other players, but you look at my record this year with a third in Abu Dhabi, a fifth in Dubai, a third at Doral, fourth in the Match Play so my bad weeks are Top-10s, basically.
“So it just frustrates me that the narrative is about there’s something missing in Rory’s game or what’s wrong with Rory or where I don’t feel like there’s anything wrong.
“It’s very close and it’s just that I’m waiting for something to happen. I might need to make something happen, but it’s not as far away as I feel some people think it is.
“I feel very comfortable with where my game is at, and I know that if I go out and I play my best or close to my best, that I’m going to have a great chance to win this week, next week, basically all season, because I’m in a really good place with where my game is.
“It just hasn’t happened yet, and I’m trying to stay as patient as possible.”
McIlroy will tee-up as host of the Irish Open at 13.35pm Thursday local time (1235GMT) in the company of defending champion Soren Kjeldsen of Denmark and England’s Andy Sullivan.