Ah, young love.
So sweet. So touching.
So bad for your golf game.
So said Johnny Miller, when asked to identify the source of 24-year-old Rory McIlroy’s recent struggles.
“I think he’s in love for the first time,” NBC’s lead golf analyst told the San Francisco Chronicle, speaking of Rory in the run-up to next week’s British Open Championship.
“It’s a wonderful feeling, and it’s distracting.”
Not that Rory’s relationship with Caroline Wozniacki is completely to blame.
In addition to emotions, Miller blamed McIroy’s mechanics, noting that an open shoulder at address appeared to be causing the young star to “scoop” shots, leaving them short.
“His 9-iron and wedge have been really horrendous, and he just lost the magic with his putting,” Miller said. “He’s hit the grand slam of things you have to watch out for when you’re at the top. He’s a bit of a mess.”
Contributing further to the chaos, Miller said, was McIlroy’s recent equipment switch.
“I would say it’s one thing to change your driver or wedge, but you’re asking for huge trouble when you change all your clubs and your golf ball at the same time. I did it with Wilson, and I went into an immediate slump for four or five months.”
Winless this season, McIroy missed the cut in his last two starts in Europe, and has mostly made a mess of his Stateside starts this year.
Along the way, he has lost his top spot in the World Golf Rankings, falling behind another (relatively) young lovebird, Tiger Woods. Photo: Caroline Wozniacki caddies for Rory McIlroy during the Par 3 Contest at the 2013 Masters (Getty Images).