Rory McIlroy on criticism: ‘It’s not as if I’m out there in the clouds’

Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy hits a shot out of the sand on the 2nd hole at Augusta National Golf Club.

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Tom Weiskopf, in an interview with Golfweek last week, said that he doesn’t think that Rory McIlroy will win much more than the four majors he’s got “because I don’t see that determination and will to be the best.”

“I don’t see any frustration,” Weiskopf told Golfweek’s Adam Schupak in a Q&A that covered various topics. “Life is good, and it should be — he’s a multi-millionaire and has a kid now — but I don’t see the Tiger attitude. It’s like he’s satisfied all the time.”

Weiskopf must have missed this year’s Zozo Championship, McIlroy told Golfweek this week. 

There, during the first round, after seeing his third shot on the 439-yard, par-4 18th hole at Sherwood Country Club fall into the rough on the right side of the green, McIlroy pushed the neck of his club into the ground and snapped it. He completed the break with his hands. McIlroy then walked down the fairway with the top half of his club in his right hand and the bottom half in his left, at one point taking an imaginary swing with the pieces.  

“I’ve never met Tom Weiskopf in my life; he’s never met me,” McIlroy told Golfweek’s Eamon Lynch in another Q&A. “So he’s obviously making a statement based on what he sees from the outside, but I don’t think that’s a fair assessment. I’ve shown throughout my career that I care, that I want to win, that I want to be the best. And I’ve been the best. It’s not as if I’m out there in the clouds and not thinking about it. I try my heart out on every single shot, every single tournament that I play. I maybe deal better with disappointment than I used to. 

“I saw the interview where he said he sees no frustration. Like, I don’t think that’s a bad thing. I mean, look at the Zozo. I’m breaking clubs, so there’s a bit of frustration there [Laughs]. Obviously, he didn’t watch that round of golf.”

McIlroy, in 13 years as a professional, has won four majors, but has not won one since the  2014 PGA Championship. The 31-year-old has also won 18 times on the PGA Tour and eight times internationally. 

McIlroy was also asked if he thought “there’s a perception that you’re soft, that it doesn’t hurt you as much.” He answered: “I don’t know if that’s soft that disappointment doesn’t hurt me as much. I think it’s a sign of resilience.”

“I don’t want to say perseverance because I don’t think you need to persevere in golf,” he continued. “You persevere if you have a bad illness. I think persistence and resilience. I’ve had bad weeks and bad rounds – it’s part of golf. That’s the thing people don’t understand, and I think someone like Weiskopf would because he’s lived it — we lose way more than we win. If you don’t get comfortable with the fact that we are going to lose more than we win, then it’s going to be a very hard and unfulfilling career. That’s why I always talk about taking the small wins.”

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Nick Piastowski

Golf.com Editor