Inicio Rory and those two crucial weeks

Rory and those two crucial weeks


Rory McIIroy has had to face some crucial weeks on various occasions in his professional career. It happened after that fateful 80 he shot in the fourth round of the Masters in Augusta 2011, coming out as leader and with his first victory in a Major on the horizon.

We mustn’t forget that in that moment the Northern Ireland native was close to turning 22, he had already been a professional for more than three years and had only won two tournaments (Dubai Desert Classic 2009 and Quail Hollow 2010), a more than acceptable achievement for someone as young as he was, but also probably limited as far as expectations for a golfer of his caliber. Thus there was talk of the lack of killer instinct in the young Hollywood amateur, because additionally up until that date, he had already been on the brink of various top-tens in majors, but he hadn’t been capable of sealing the deal. Fundamentally, the 63 he shot to kick off the British Open 2010 in St. Andrews is always remembered by the time when he shot the devastating 80 in the second round, when the wind, the cold and the rain made their presence known. And also his lackluster performance in the final of the PGA Tour in same year, 2010, in Whistling Straits, when he went out to play on Sunday in second place, three shots away from the leader Nick Watney, and wasn’t able to take advantage of his enormous slip-up (Watney shot a 79 that day) to go down in the books in the majors.

That’s how things were when the 80 he shot in the Augusta National seemed to stand as an example of what little resilience Rory had in moments of high pressure or difficulty. That’s when it happened. On the plane on the way to Malaysia, where he would play the following week, and after having talked about everything he needed to discuss with his team, he had it clear: technically and physically speaking, he was working efficiently, little to change there, as he clearly demonstrated by the fact that he was capable of continually paving the way to taking home the win in many different scenarios. Thus, it was about making the effort to fight against the control that the fear and uncertainty held over him, or to be more confident than ever in his capabilities. Thus, in a very decisive and determined way, he opted to make the effort to overcome it…

He started the tournament off in Malaysia with 69 shots and in the second round 64 shots took him to the top among the leaders. After a week’s worth of rain and one interruption after another, he went to the tee in the last round on the 18th hole at the Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club, a 580 meter long par 5, with the inclination that he needed an eagle to win the tournament and a birdie to tie…

He went for the eagle and he made a tremendous effort on the drive, with the intention of creating the option to make it to the green in two shots (that week, mind you, not one eagle was made on that par 5) and the shot was incredible, solid, but landed in the grasp of the bunker by just a few centimeters. It was really just that, a few centimeters…

What happened is that the ball was left in a difficult position and Rory made a bogey. From the outside, the analysis seemed clear: seven days after the catastrophe in the Masters, he was once again incapable of winning when he had it in the bag. But the reality is that the Northern Ireland native slept peacefully that night and the following nights. He was then completely aware that something had clicked in his head. He was still destined to have another upset (not long after he missed the cut in the Wells Fargo), but the final outcome of that time at a crucial moment in his career is very well known: just a few weeks later he won the US Open, including a stop on his historic run at the Congressional Country Club.

The process of maturing takes time and Rory was just a kid in 2011, it’s true, but apart from that there are critical crossroads that can either lighten the load, create shortcuts, lengthen the journey, or even ruin a promising career. Mcllroy, who was not considered to be a ‘killer’ by any means, decided in a moment of weakness that he wanted to be and could be a ‘killer’, a go-getter, a winner.