Rory McIlroy can be one among the sport’s finest players but the Northern Irishman has no longer gained a first-rate identify in nearly 9 years, a barren run inside the elite events that has left golfing first rate Jack Nicklaus puzzled.The 83-year-old Nicklaus, speaking on Tuesday beforehand of this week’s Memorial Tournament which he hosts in Dublin, Ohio, became at a loss to explain how McIlroy has no longer celebrated a major on account that winning his fourth at the 2014 PGA Championship.
“I mean, he is, as far as talent, he is as talented a player as there is in the game of golf,” said Nicklaus. “Why he hasn’t received in nine years? Kind of a thriller to a whole lot of human beings due to the fact he’s so true.”
McIlroy neglected the cut on the 2023 Masters, where he turned into in search of the final leg of the profession Grand Slam, after which took a wreck to attention on his intellectual wellness following a taxing year in which he served as an unofficial spokesman for the PGA Tour in its struggle with LIV Golf.
The 34-year-vintage Northern Irishman, in his second occasion again from the destroy, finished seventh at the PGA Championship and now looks to construct off that this week at the Memorial ahead of his subsequent shot at essential glory within the June 15-18 US Open.
Nicklaus, who won a report 18 important championships in the course of his storied profession, said he spoke with McIlroy in advance on Tuesday at Muirfield Village and turned into uncertain how to explain why the golfer is stuck at four majors.
“I don’t know clearly recognise what to make of it. Because he’s very confident. He works very tough at it. He’s an awesome scholar of the sport. He practices a lot,” stated Nicklaus. “I do not know whether his is a steady lack of being capable of keep that attention for everything or now not, due to the fact once in a while he’s the par, par, par, double, 8.
“He does that once in a while. And I stated, ‘Why, Rory? Why does that show up?’ And … He doesn’t understand.”
Nicklaus went 3 years with out a major between 1967 and 1970 – a drought via his lofty standards – a dry spell in the course of which he nevertheless played well however changed into no longer logging the vital exercise hours as his own family have become more of a priority.
“It’s a be counted of – we all undergo intervals. Rory can be going through a bit little bit of that period,” said Nicklaus, who went on to gather seven majors over the following five years, beginning with the 1970 British Open.
“He’s going to wake up one morning and say … ‘Hey, I higher, you recognize, get on the stick right here and start triumphing some more majors’, because he is truly going to win a few extra. I cannot consider that he is no longer.