McGinley on McIlroy: “It’s amazing how quickly people rush to judgement”

John Craven

Rory McIlroy (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Paul McGinley has jumped to the defence of Rory McIlroy after a difficult few weeks for the Holywood star.

Many people’s favourite entering the Masters, McIlroy was unable to live up to the billing as the gates of Augusta continue to cast a spell on his Grand Slam dreams.

The four-time Major winner just needs a Green Jacket to complete the set but unceremoniously exited the stage with a missed cut in Georgia before opting to skip the following week’s designated event at Hilton Head, despite already using his one free pass at the Sentry Tournament of Champions.


McIlroy has yet to offer an explanation as to why skipped the RBC Heritage but he looks set to miss out on $3m in PIP bonuses. He’s also come in for criticism from some of his fellow pros having largely been the one spearheading this new direction for the PGA Tour which aims to bring the best players together more often.

McGinley was one of the many who fancied McIlroy heading into the Masters and while the occasion clearly got to the 33-year old, his former Ryder Cup Captain believes people are far too quick to drop the hammer on McIlroy after one disappointing week.

“There’s only five people in the history of the game to have won the Grand Slam, there’s a reason why only five have won it, and only three that are living, we’re talking about a very, very difficult thing to achieve,” McGinley told us at Irish Golfer.

“People are rushing to judgement just because he had one bad Masters. All of a sudden everything’s wrong with him. A couple of months ago everything was right, he was on top of the world, winning the FedEx, top-10s in all the four Majors.

“It’s amazing how quickly people rush to judgement. Judge him in ten years’ time or whenever his career is finished. He’s got all the tools to win the Grand Slam and I really hope that one day he does.

“I think his career deserves it. It would be great for Ireland if he does it, but let’s give him a bit of space to figure it out.

“He’ll come back from this. Golf is a game of disappointments and about getting back on the horse again.”

There’s nowhere on earth that McIlroy gets criticised more than in Ireland. This is a man who saved the Irish Open with his foundation and stardom, winning it in 2016 before donating the entirety of his winning cheque to charity, and he still can’t catch a break.

With four Major wins to his name and multiple titles worldwide, there’s no doubt that McIlroy is the finest golfer this island has ever produced. Yet while he might be under-appreciated by an element back home, McGinley has no doubt as to his reputation elsewhere, comparing the former World Number One to the man many believe to be the greatest footballer ever – Lionel Messi.

“It’s only when you go to America that you see how big he is,” McGinley says.

“This is no exaggeration, he is the Lionel Messi of golf. That’s how big a star he is in golf, and yet when Lionel Messi has a bad game, do people jump all over him? Does he come in for the same abuse in Argentina?

“And that’s no exaggeration when I say that. You can do all the research you want and I go to a lot of corporate stuff in America, I do a lot of stuff with kids, I have the craic with them and ask who’s their favourite player. Nine times out of 10, it’s Rory McIlroy.

“We under-appreciate him in Ireland, that’s my personal view. Of course he’s a friend of mine, I Captained him in Ryder Cup, and that makes my job analysing him on TV difficult.

“But I have to give an honest appraisal, and at this moment in time, he hasn’t figured out how to deal with the expectation of Augusta. But I’m not going to close the door and say he’s never going to do it because he’s got the skillset, he’s got the balls, he’s won every other tournament around the world.

“This is the one part of the puzzle he hasn’t figured out but let’s give him the space to do it, and I’ve absolutely no doubt that he’ll win another Major very soon.”

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3 responses to “McGinley on McIlroy: “It’s amazing how quickly people rush to judgement””

  1. Moira Craven avatar
    Moira Craven

    Thank God and thanks Paul for that beautifully worded defence of Rory Mc Ilroy. He is an amazing player, a great role model, a credible and honest young man and an ambassador for Ireland of whom each one of us should be proud . I can’t understand why people voice negative comments with such venom. Thanks Irish Golfer for this aricle.

  2. Kevin Walsh avatar
    Kevin Walsh

    Agree completely needs no more criticism.
    Best every Irish golfer who like many others helps a lot of people outside of the game

  3. anthony dykes avatar
    anthony dykes

    Go McGinley rory does not this shit thrown at him he stood up for the PGA tour and he stands for he believes I say Go Rory

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