McIlroy blames poor season on injury-plagued year
It comes as no surprise that Rory McIlroy has laid the blame for an indifferent season squarely on an injury-interrupted year.
McIlroy ended his PGA Tour last week in Chicago with his poorest FedExCup standing since joining the Tour full-time in 2011.
Rory McIlroy’s season got off to a bad start at the South African Open (Credit: BMW SA Open)
However, it didn’t help McIlroy’s year that he sat out nearly six weeks early on in 2017 after a rib tear only to aggravate the injury overdoing his practice after returning in May.
It is the reason why McIlroy will shut down his season for six weeks, forgoing the European Tour’s Final Series and also ruling out any long-distance tournaments, so that he is fully-healed for the start of his 2018 year.
“I definitely think the injury was the biggest thing that affected my season,” he said to Nolayingup.com
“If someone was to say, ‘why didn’t things go the way you wanted them to this year?’ I would say because of the injury.”
“Also, you swing away from pain, so I started to get the club way on the inside on the downswing and my path was so far from in-and-out because anything going left at impact was putting pressure on that rib and on that joint and it would hurt.”
“So, I played for four months without hitting a shot left-to-right and you can’t do that.”
“It made me play a certain way and I am proud of the fact I used to be a draw bias player and the last few years I have been able to hit it both ways and I think that has been a big part of my success as I am able to get to back right pins now so that I can hit it to the middle of the green and I can fade it back.”
“This year I have not been able to do that and that’s why, and if you look at my statistics, my wedge play has not been all that good while my iron-play also has not been good.”
And in explaining how ‘re-injured’ himself, McIlroy has compared how he suffered a freak ankle injury mid-2015 that saw him also side-lined for six weeks and while his ankle is of no concern the rib injury has been lingering for some nine frustrating months.
“After getting married and going on our honeymoon I got back into practice and instead of gradually increasing the practice each day the first day I got back I was out there for five to six hours hitting balls and playing and practicing,” he said.
“My back felt a little tight the next day and I guess that was my body saying you need to slow down.”
“Even though I am now going to take these six weeks off in getting myself back to 100% fitness, it is something I am going to have to work on the next 12 to 18 months and really take care of it.”
And McIlroy revealed the reasons for his decision to add next Thursday’s starting British Masters to his schedule.
“The entry date for the event closed three weeks ago and as I hadn’t entered thankfully they were holding a spot for me, so that’s nice,” he said.
“Then I am playing the Dunhill Links with my Dad and he is excited and can’t wait for that, and then I am shutting it down.”
“So, from the end of the Dunhill Links and for the next six weeks I probably won’t touch or swing a club and let my injury full heal, given it time and rest along with undertaking some rehab stuff and exercises.”
And as reported earlier, don’t be surprised McIlroy commences 2018, and for the first time in his career, on the PGA Tour’s ‘West Coast Swing’.