Belfast Telegraph

Rory looks as comfortable in these photos as he did in the Santander TV adverts

By Lindy McDowell

In a world in which even MPs are stripping off to assure us they are "fit for office" (three Westminster frontbenchers recently displayed their manly torsos for Men's Health magazine; none of our local representatives, thankfully) can we be all that surprised that a young sportsman at the very top of his game should be featured in the same mag this month?

The mind and body of a champion, we are promised with a front page pic of the world's leading golfer, our own Rory McIlroy, looking muscularly impressive in a simple grey T-shirt and jeans, on the front cover.

Inside it's an entirely different story. And indeed set of pictures. Here's the undeniably physically fit McIlroy taking off his shirt. Here he is holding up a big ball. And here he is again this time lifting weights like a champion bodybuilder.

It should work. But in each shot poor Rory looks about as comfortable with the camera as he did in those Santander ads where he mysteriously appeared on a stranger's settee to talk finance. Let's just say he's not Aidan from Poldark.

As he removes his shirt he looks into the camera with the half-hearted glance of a man who would so rather be out on the green.

'Exercising' with the ball he's biting his lip. Oh God, how much longer do I have to do this? And finally there's that weightlifting pic where he's looking to the heavens. Possibly pleading for release.

The muscles are great, yes. It's just that it all looks a bit stilted and wooden and, well, uncomfortable. Why on earth did he do this?

The answer is of course, exposure. It's all about promoting the brand and a set of semi-naked pics of a young, fit sportsman should be a sure-fire way of garnering some great media coverage.

The problem is that what professional models and some sportspeople can make look so good and so easy is actually so much harder to pull off than it seems. Jamie Dornan and David Beckham yes. Rory sadly no.

What's worse, and I'm sure it is entirely coincidental, Rory's photoshoot comes close on the heels of another set of glossy mag pics of his ex Caroline Wozniacki. Anything you can do Caroline?

In April's Vogue magazine, the swimsuit-clad tennis player is seen in yet another spread punching a leather medicine ball not unlike the one which McIlroy is seen hoisting above his head here. She looks a whole lot more at ease than her former fiancé. But it still gives you the impression of some weird game of photoshoot tennis going on between the pair.

As I say, I'm sure that's entirely coincidental. And in fairness Ms Wozniacki may have some future as a glossy mag model. It's a lucrative business. Who could blame her for having a try?

But going by these shots Rory would be so much better keeping his eyes on the ball. The small white one that is. You're in great shape for a golfer, yes. No one is ever going to confuse you with Ernie Els. But there are golfers for courses, so to speak. Put(t) it away.

Belfast Telegraph


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