Belfast Telegraph

Scene set for Rory McIlroy to prove critics wrong

Telegraph Sport: where the debate starts

With Stuart McKinley

In almost any walk of life there is a feeling that the more you do, the more you're expected to do.

When it comes to sport, the expectation level rises with every success – be it for an individual or a team – and when those expectations aren't met the critics start lining up to have a pop.

Take our own golf superstar Rory McIlroy as a case in point.

It seems that everyone has been having a go at the Holywood man lately.

He's having a bad season, say the so-called experts.

Others have claimed that he can't manage to put together two decent rounds in a row.

The 24-year-old must be suffering from a strange kind of deja vu, because this time 12 months ago it was exactly the same.

His romance with tennis star Caroline Wozniacki was being blamed for an alarming dip in form in the early part of the season.

Then look what happened.

He bagged a Major, winning the PGA Championship by a record eight shots, as well as claiming victory in four other tournaments.

McIlroy was also a key man in Europe's amazing Ryder Cup win – before he finished top of the European money list and ended the year as No.1 in the world.

All that helped him earn a $200m contract with sports equipment giants Nike as well – nice money if you can get it.

His new clubs are to blame, apparently, but with the second Major of the season, the US Open, just around the corner, don't be surprised if he is back on top form and ticking all the boxes for his new sponsors within the next few months.

Belfast Telegraph


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