Having watched Rory McIlroy grow up on the golf course over the past decade, we have borne witness to many highs and lows for the Holywood golfer.
However, watching McIlroy at the Zozo Championship last weekend viewers observed a moment of raw frustration that has rarely been seen before from the 31-year-old.
While deflated body language has often betrayed Mcilroy's inner frustrations, never had we seen that bubble up to the point where he snapped one of his own clubs after a bad shot.
But, failing to find the green from 140 yards with his wedge, that was exactly what the four-time major winner did on the 18th hole of his first round.
The brief eruption of frustration was about more than just one poor shot though, as Fionn Davenport explained on this week's Golf Weekly.
"It's not just that he missed the green in this instance but that it's a feature of his game that has been at him for a long time," Davenport explained to Joe Molloy and Peter Lawrie.
Have we put Rory on too much of a pedestal?🤔
In light of his frustration at the Zozo Championship last weekend, @pelawrie reflects on Rory McIlroy's place in golf today and whether we are expecting too much of him to be a world-beater⛳️ @NowTVIreland @GolfWeeklyOTB pic.twitter.com/1WJxSXJn9b
— Off The Ball (@offtheball) October 29, 2020
"It's not a secret that with a short iron in his hand he's not nearly as effective as he should be. And perhaps he's been working on the wedges and this is just a reflection of frustration that the work hasn't shown through yet. Or maybe he's just saying, 'Ugh, this nonsense again.'"
While McIlroy also carded a remarkable 29 birdies over the tournament, eight bogies and three double bogies relegated him to finish eight shots behind the leader, Patrick Cantlay.
Giving his thoughts on McIlroy's mixed weekend, Lawrie queried whether people simply expect too much of the Northern Irish golfer, especially when the sport has so many other leading lights.
"I want to be critical," Lawrie began, "but then I say to myself, have we put Rory too much on a pedestal? Are there too many other good players around him now that he is actually not the world-beater that we thought he was?
"If he's ever going to get back to the world number one spot he has to kind of put himself back into golf completely and give 100 percent to golf. And I think – at this stage in his life – maybe that's not number one in what he wants to achieve."
Chasing the green jacket
However, after a weekend where he did a lot right as well as a lot wrong, Molloy suggested McIlroy could still knit the positives together to produce a challenge for the green jacket in two weeks' time.
Lawrie, on the other hand, wasn't so sure: "Would I write him off? No. Would I be betting on him heavily to win the Masters right now the way his game is? You can't have those mistakes going to Augusta.
"Yes, you have to make birdies, but you can't have those mistakes because those mistakes in Augusta aren't just bogies they are double bogies and those are what he can't have on his card," Lawrie added.
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