The Golf Blog: Rory McIlroy struggles again with Nike clubs at Honda Classic, about to miss cut; is it time to shelve Nike clubs for Masters?

mulligan, 01 March 2013, Comments Off on The Golf Blog: Rory McIlroy struggles again with Nike clubs at Honda Classic, about to miss cut; is it time to shelve Nike clubs for Masters?
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The Golf Blog says: Rory McIlroy is 7-over for his front nine today, with 1 triple bogey, 1 double bogey, and 2 bogeys. He looks almost certain to miss the cut at the Honda Classic, projected at Even par. In 2013, playing his new Nike clubs and Nike ball, Rory so far has missed the cut or been eliminated in the 1st round of every tourney he’s played.

UPDATE: After dunking his ball into the water on 18 (his 9th hole), Rory just picked up his Nike ball and walked off his 9th hole without finishing. He withdrew. And then immediately headed to the parking lot with his caddie and coach without talking to reporters. Looks like Rory pulled a John Daly. Ouch!

UPDATE 2: Rory’s camp is now saying that Rory had severe wisdom tooth pain. Rory said in statement released to the press: “I sincerely apologize the The Honda Classic and PGA Tour for my sudden withdrawal. I have been suffering with a sore wisdom tooth, which is due to come out in the near future. It began bothering me again last night, so I relieved it with Advil. It was very painful again this morning, and I was simply unable to concentrate. It was really bothering me and had begun to affect my playing partners. I came here with every intention of defending my Honda Classic title. Even though the results haven’t revealed it, I really felt like I was rounding a corner. This is one of my favorite tournaments of the year and I regret having to make the decision to withdraw, but it was one I had to make.”

Jan. 17-20: Abu Dhabi Championship 75-75 Missed Cut

Feb. 24: Accenture Match Play Eliminated Round 1

Feb. 28-March 1: Honda Class: Even 7-over after 8 holes, hit in water on 9th hole (Withdraw)

With the Masters a little over a month away, starting on April 11, we think Rory needs to give serious consideration to shelving the Nike clubs and Nike ball–at least temporarily until he’s more adjusted to them–as he prepares for the Masters. In 2012, Rory missed only 4 cuts in 16 tourneys and he was the defending champion at the Honda Classic, the same tournament he now looks completely lost at. This year, he’s already halfway there with 2 missed cuts in just 2 events. The equipment change has to be at least a factor in the poor play for the World No. 1 ranked golfer. It may take more time for Rory to adjust. Only problem: he doesn’t have much time to prepare for the Masters. If he’s not firing on all cylinders by March 15, we think he should switch back to his old clubs and ball–and pay off Nike for whatever fine it wants to impose. Winning the Masters is more important than playing with Nike clubs for millions of dollars.

RELATED POST: We first raised the question about the difficulty of switching clubs back in our post on January 19 (click here).


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