As best as Jack Nicklaus can tell, Rory McIlroy is suffering from a lack of focus on his golf game.
Nicklaus, who was in attendance at Wimbledon, participated in an 15-minute interview on “Live @ Wimbledon,” speaking on a variety of topics including the Ulsterman’s 2013 struggles.
“He’s been sort of doing other things, and now he’s back wanting to play golf again, and he’s struggling,” Nicklaus said, alluding to the litany commitments the world No. 2 has now as a two-time major winner with a broad portfolio of sponsors, including Nike Golf.
The 18-time major winner added, “Before, he was grinding, grinding, grinding to get where he wanted. Now all of a sudden he’s had a little bit more leisurely (sic), and he’s got a little less pressure. You need the pressure. I think it’s great to have the pressure; I enjoyed having it every time I walked on a golf course.”
On that point, it’s easy to argue Nicklaus is wrong and, in fact, the opposite is true. McIlroy faces more demands on his time, more pressure from fans who expect him to win at the clip he has in 2011 and ’12. After missing the cut at the Irish Open last week, McIlroy lamented he would like to play again before the Open Championship, but could not because of sponsor commitments.
While McIlroy is winless in 2013, Nicklaus doesn’t see a long struggle for McIlroy.
“Rory will get it back; he’s just going through a period,” Nicklaus said. “He’s too talented, too hard-working and too good of a kid not to get it back.”