Having missed the cut on his last two starts on the European Tour, Rory McIlroy would surely have been desperate to get back out on the course ahead of The Open at Muirfield on July 18th.
The Northern Irishman’s much-publicised slump continued as he exited the Irish Open alongside fellow home favourites Graeme McDowell, Darren Clarke and Padraig Harrington on Friday, and he admitted to feeling “a little lost.”
But instead of being able to put things right in the forthcoming French and Scottish Opens, McIlroy is being hindered by outside forces.
Sponsorship commitments and a family wedding in the next two weeks mean that he is unable to play at either of those tournaments, ensuring that he’ll enter the Open – for which he’s the 12/1 second-favourite behind Tiger Woods – without having had a chance to put things right.
“If I didn’t have a couple of things to do over the next couple of weeks, I probably would add a tournament to be honest,” said McIlroy after the exit, before adding none too convincingly: “It would be nice, but as long as I play rounds and try to shoot a score, that’s the same sort of thing.”
His two-over par at the Carton House course by no means marked him out as the weekend’s poorest performer, but in front of such an expectant home crowd it was the latest in a growing line of noticeable failures.
With his driving continuing to desert him, McIlroy simply can’t be backed with any real confidence on his current form.
As Muirfield is a completely new venue to him, the 24-year-old won’t be able to fall back on previous experiences either, and with Woods looking on the short side at 7/1, it looks advisable to pick your winner from further down the list.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date.