Golf journalist Dermot Gilleece joined Off The Ball on Monday to discuss Rory McIlroy's performance at the Ryder Cup.
Rory McIlroy's failings during the first two days of the Ryder Cup epitomized the problems that Padraig Harrington's team encountered.
A history-making defeat followed but McIlroy was able to win his matchup on the final day. McIlroy was one of only three Europeans to win on Sunday, as Europe fell to a 19-9 loss.
Dermot Gilleece joined Joe Molloy on Monday and he was impressed with the battling qualities of the beleaguered Irish golfer.
“He squeezed that performance out of himself," he said.
"He knew that he wasn't playing well but he gave it his very best and squeezed an admirable performance out of himself. Once the putt went in on the first, I think that calmed him down significantly. He was more composed for the remainder of the match than we've seen him for some time.
The toll that it obviously took on him emotionally to actually get that performance was huge.
I think it's great to see that, it really is. You don't want to see people suffer publicly but at the same time it gives the public a tremendous insight into what's at stake for these guys in high-level competition.”
— Ryder Cup Europe (@RyderCupEurope) September 26, 2021
When the topic of McIlroy's coach Pete Cowen came up, Gilleece believes that the sponsors are creating pressure for McIlroy to not play his own game.
"Commercially he was probably under quite a bit of pressure to do something about his game. Given the sort of contracts he has, he can't just drift from week to week playing indifferent golf. He had to be seen to be trying to do something about it."
Instead of making changes, McIlroy should revert back to what made him great early in his career.
"The free-wheeling Rory is the one we all want to see. It's what he should get back to himself. I would agree entirely with that. I find it very hard to grasp that commentators were saying that these conditions won't really suit Rory with all the wind blowing.
And I'm thinking back to when he was a kid and he was 15 or 16 and he's winning the West of Ireland championship in successive years. There's gales blowing in off the Atlantic at Ross's point. I wonder where does this stuff come from.
I've no doubt he prefers calm conditions, but it's ludicrous in my mind to suggest to him that he can't cope with adverse conditions because he was reared on them."
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