Since Rory McIlroy won the U.S. Open in record fashion, he's been enjoying the perks of a young, superstar athlete — sitting in the Royal Box at Wimbledon, lavish parties and rubbing elbows with other famous people. McIlroy is also getting used to another part of being the man on top — criticism.
McIlroy didn't tee it up in a tournament between his U.S. Open win and next week's British Open. Colin Montgomerie, among others, disagreed with McIlroy's approach. Speaking to The Belfast Telegraph, McIlroy defended his decision.
“My answer [to these people] is simple. I wanted to get everything out of the way so that when I did start playing again I could just concentrate on golf.”
He added: “Some people may have wondered why I chose to go from one Major straight to another.
“But because of what happened at Congressional and the way it became such a big deal (he was the youngest winner since Bobby Jones in 1923 and did it with a record score and by an eight-shot margin) I wanted to get everything out of the way and sorted so that when I did start playing again I could just concentrate on golf.
“If I had gone to France (he pulled out of last week's French Open) I just would not have been able to practise or prepare properly.”
The legendary Jack Nicklaus defended McIlroy earlier this week, saying: “I always found that well-timed breaks from golf could be healthy for the mind and the game, but each golfer has to determine what’s best for them.
“Rory isn’t the first player to build his schedule and strategy around the majors.
“Ben Hogan did it, Bobby Jones did it, I did it and Tiger Woods has done it.”
That's pretty good company. Tiger fan suing PGA TourWe haven't looked at TMZ.com for golf news since a little scandal started in November 2009, but a Tiger, not the Tiger, is making headlines again, and TMZ is all over it.
Jason Goodwin dressed in a Tiger costume for last year's Deutsche Bank Championship, but he was thrown out after Angel Cabrera allegedly claimed Goodwin's costume was too distracting. Now, Goodwin is suing the Tour.
Goodwin filed a small claims lawsuit against the PGA in Boston, insisting his civil rights were "infringed upon" — and he wants $7150 to make things right.
Goodwin tells TMZ … he chose the amount because it's the most he's allowed to sue for in small claims court … adding, "I want to make the point that you can't tell people what to wear."
Calls to the PGA have not been returned.
U.S. Against the World With American golfers going 0-5 in the last five majors, the "What's Wrong with American Golf" debate is a hot topic at the 19th hole. John Paul Newport at The Wall Street Journal weighs in with a look at how McIlroy became the youngest U.S. Open champion since Bobby Jones.
McIlroy, the 22-year-old runaway winner at last month's U.S. Open, is a case in point. Given his prodigious talent and dedication, he would have succeeded ultimately under almost any system, but it didn't hurt that starting at age 13 he was integrated into the Golfing Union of Ireland's "coaching panels" for high performers. He kept training with his own coach in Northern Ireland, Michael Bannon, and his working-class parents took on extra jobs to defray his golf expenses. But the GUI provided extra support and guidance, as well as access to courses and training facilities, and paid his expenses for multiple trips abroad (including one to America) to compete against the best players in the world. In 2007 he was low amateur at the British Open and turned pro that fall, already well-seasoned at age 18.