Found January 18, 2013 on
Rory McIlroy has some work to do if he's to justify the huge amount of money Nike has paid him recently. After missing his first ever cut in Abu Dhabi, McIlroy headed out of the oil rich emirate intent on getting used to his new Nike equipment.
Two 75s saw the World No. 1 bow out of a tournament in which he has never finished worse than 11th. Unveiled to the world on Monday as Nike's latest acquisition, McIlroy limped away from Abu Dhabi five days later with more questions than answers about his new clubs.
The Northern Irishman couldn't make a putt in the first round and changed putters overnight, switching back to his old Scotty Cameron. Even that didn't do the trick.
"I just wanted to try it because I felt like I didn't get anything to the hole yesterday," McIlroy said. "I just felt like it was a little light for these greens. The greens aren't particularly quick here so I just feel like the one I put in (the bag) today was a little bit heavier and felt like I could get the ball to the hole."
McIlroy didn't just struggle with the putter. He didn't perform with his driver, either. He only hit seven fairways in the second round, and only 12 in two days, ranking 87th out of a field of 126.
"I just need to find a driver that I'm comfortable with, because I didn't drive the ball at all well," he said. "I feel like that's a big advantage for me."
As for the rest of his game, it wasn't anywhere near world No. 1 standard.
"All aspects of my game were off," he said. "My iron play wasn't anywhere near the standard that it usually is for me."
However, McIlroy refused to blame his new clubs.
"I'm just struggling with my swing a bit," he said. "I feel like I'm spinning out of it a lot, hitting out of the heel quite a lot. I just need to put in a bit of work on the range.
"It's the first week out. I wouldn't look too much into it. If anything, it's more the Indian, not the arrow at this point."
McIlroy left Abu Dhabi for Dubai to put in some much needed practice with swing coach Michael Bannon. McIlroy's next event is the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship in Arizona, the first of a stretch of events on the PGA Tour heading into the Masters. He'll spend that time trying to get his game in shape.
"It's just one of those things. I've got a few weeks off now to work at it and try to get my game in decent shape for the US."
McIlroy struggled early last year, too, but rebounded to win five times, including the PGA Championship and the money list on both sides of the Atlantic.
Just as one swallow does not a summer make, two bad rounds don't make McIlroy a bad golfer. He'll be back, probably with a vengeance.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
The latest Nike golf commercial featuring Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy has gone viral with nearly 4 million views as of this writing. In the ad, Woods and McIlroy play a game of "Can you top that?" at the driving range by sinking outrageous long range shots into all sorts of cups.
The ad is appropriately called "No Cup is Safe".
Some may find it noteworthy...
HOW'D THEY DO IT
Nike unveiled a new commercial featuring Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods. There's something pretty interesting about the commercial.
Call it a box office flop -- so far.
After all the hype, the photo ops with camels and the extraordinary amount of oil money that Abu Dhabi sheiks have spent to lure Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy to the Middle East, the verdict is clear cut: The two leading men were awful in their starring roles.
The sheiks could have been forgiven for wondering what they had invested in after the...
With Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods struggling to shake off rust, Justin Rose and unheralded Jamie Donaldson took the spotlight at the Abu Dhabi Championship in opening rounds of 5-under-par 67 to share a one-shot lead on Thursday.
Thorbjorn Olesen of Denmark and Pablo Larrazabal of Spain were a shot behind. Five others including Henrik Stenson of Sweden were a further shot back in...
Unheralded Jamie Donaldson outshone struggling Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods at the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship in shooting an opening-round 5-under 67 for the early clubhouse lead on Thursday.
McIlroy, playing with new clubs following his multimillion dollar sponsorship deal with Nike, finished with a 3-over 75 and risks missing the cut. He repeatedly missed fairways including a...
Even though the golf season officially began two weeks ago, the “real” golf season begins this weekend as Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods begin their 2013 schedules. Where you ask? Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates where the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship takes place.
Why Abu Dhabi, not Hawaii, as their choice to tee off the season?
Well, first of all, both are getting paid just to show...
With golfer Rory McIlroy signing a big deal with Nike over the weekend, the fine folks at Nike already had a commercial ready to celebrate Rory's acquisition.
Check out this spot featuring him and Tiger Woods called, "No Cup Is Safe" as both compete to hit as many cups as possible:
Golf, it seems, isn't as easy outside of a Nike ad.
Days after Nike Golf debuted its new dynamic duo in a special effects-laden television ad, Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy both shockingly missed the cut in their season-opening tournament.
In what's believed to be only the fifth time the world's top-two ranked players have exited early at the same tournament, the Swoosh...
I’m the new fresh Tiger T…
Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland and Tiger Woods of the USA look on during the second round of The Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship at Abu Dhabi Golf Club today in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates — Tiger and Rory are great together, but is their really a rivalry there? Makes me miss the Tiger Phil days.-TO
Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy hit the range...
At some point in every great players career they must pass the torch to new young guy on the scene. Well this commercial is a fun playful way that Tiger is paving the way for Rory McIlroy to be the face of golf. However, the commercial does have Tiger one [...]
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates–Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy missed the cut at the Abu Dhabi Championship on Friday, a woeful start to the season for the world’s top two golfers.
Woods missed it after he was penalized two shots for wrongly taking a free drop, while top-ranked McIlroy was frustrated trying to adjust to his new Nike clubs, even though he used his old Titleist putter...
Tiger Woods has missed the cut at the Abu Dhabi Championship after being penalized two shots for wrongly thinking he had a free drop after his ball became entangled in weeds.
Woods thought he had just made the cut by finishing his second round at 1-over 73. But he was advised by the European Tour chief referee of the penalty, giving him a 75 and 3-over total of 147. The cut for...
Justin Rose extended his lead at the Abu Dhabi Championship on Saturday, shooting a 4-under 68 to take a two-shot lead over Jamie Donaldson and Thorbjorn Olesen.
A day after top-ranked Rory McIlroy and second-ranked Tiger Woods missed the cut, the fifth-ranked Englishman made his third round look easy. After three-putting on the first for a bogey, Rose had a stretch of six birdies...