PGA Tour

Nicklaus hits out at McIlroy

2013-03-04 10:14
Rory McIlroy (AFP)

Florida - Golf great Jack Nicklaus said on Sunday Rory McIlroy was wrong to walk off the course at the Honda Classic but said the world No 1 would be back to his best in time for the Masters next month.

McIlroy withdrew after eight holes of his second round on Friday, initially saying he was in a "bad place mentally" and then later citing toothache.

"He shouldn't have walked off the golf course. I think that was unfortunate, because if he had thought about it for five minutes, he wouldn't have done it," Nicklaus, who won a record 18 major titles, told the Golf Channel.

McIlroy has played just four full professional rounds in three months, missing the cut in the Abu Dhabi Championship in January and suffering a surprise first-round exit in the WGC-Accenture World Match Play Championship last week in Arizona.

Nicklaus said he suspected McIlroy's rash decision was caused by the impact of that slow start.

"He's a good kid, he's a sharp kid and I just think he is so frustrated with what is happening and the way he has played for last month or so that it just got to him.

"That would be my assessment. I may be speaking out of school. I really don't know, I haven't talked to him," he added.

Nicklaus was dismissive of the idea that McIlroy's change of clubs from Titleist to Nike might be behind his poor form.

The American said he played with different equipment in the United States, England and Australia and that McIlroy would cope with the adjustment.

"I went back and forth with all those different balls and clubs and frankly you have just got to learn to deal with it. Not everything is perfect. His talent is so much greater and so much bigger influence on his golf game than his clubs, he could play with anything," Nicklaus said.

The American said he frequently talked to McIlroy and had a chat with him just before the start of this week's tournament.

"I talked to him on Monday. We talked, I said 'don't worry about your golf clubs, that will come around, you are too good a talent, just go and play golf'.

"I am sure that Nike will work with him to make sure he will get what he needs to get. He will be fine. When the Masters rolls around Rory McIlroy is going to be playing just fine.

"I know that Rory is such a good player, a talented player, a good kid and he wants to do right."

Read more on:    honda classic  |  rory mcilroy  |  golf


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Sport Talk
Breaking News


Which is your favourite event on the golfing calendar?

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2018/19 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.