Rory McIlroy takes a swing at his critics including Nick Faldo
Golf star Rory McIlroy has hit back at his critics – including veteran player Nick Faldo – after claims his personal life was adversely affecting his performances on the course.
The 24-year-old spoke out after being told by Faldo (below) to "concentrate on his golf" and forget about distractions outside of the sport.
Double Major winner McIlroy has suffered a dip in form in recent months, with some pundits blaming his private life for the hiccup.
But McIlroy yesterday hit back at the six-time Major winner, saying he should know better than anybody the pressures faced by those at the top of the game.
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"He said I should be at the course nine to five," said McIlroy, now world number two.
"I actually was on the range at 6.15 and got out of the gym at 6.15pm – a 12-hour day compared to his eight-hour day.
"Nick should know how hard this game is at times. He should know how much work that we all put in."
It's been a busy year for the Holywood-born star after changing clubs and signing a lucrative sponsorship deal with Nike.
He has also been pictured out and about with his Danish partner Caroline Wozniacki, who he has been dating for the past two years.
While obviously aggravated by Faldo's comments, McIlroy acknowledged that the veteran player was not trying to unduly criticise him. "He probably said a million other things in that interview," he said. "He obviously said something about me and that's the thing that's been picked up by everyone."
McIlroy is without a tournament win since the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai last November.
But he said he is confident he will soon be back to winning ways, with his sights set on victory at the Open which got under way today .
"The game's like life. You're going to go through highs and you're going to go through lows," he said. "Sooner or later it will turn around and I'll play the golf that everyone knows I'm capable of and the golf I know that's capable of winning Major championships."