Cape Town - While Rory McIlroy dismisses
suggestions he has been bottling it on Sundays, Paul McGinley believes
the Northern Irishman has indeed lost his confidence when it matters
McIlroy's failure to emerge victorious from Sunday's final pairing at
the Arnold Palmer Invitational continued a disturbing trend for the
four-time major winner, who has now been unable to win a tournament
after starting in the final group eight successive times.
While McIlroy chooses to focus on the positives, namely the fact that
he has started 2019 with five consecutive top-six starts on the PGA
Tour, others reckon he has developed a noticeable problem when it comes
to delivering at the business end of tournaments - and you can count
McGinley among them.
"It is great to see him play as consistently as he has because that
is something that has been missing in his career," said the Irishman.
"One of the things that has been great to watch with Rory over the
years is that when he gets hot, he gets really hot and generally wins.
"That hasn't been a trend in the last couple of years. You know how
talented he is but golf is about winning and there is no doubt that he
has got an issue on a Sunday and it is growing. There are a lot of
questions being asked.
"We have got a saying in Ireland that when the dogs are barking, keep
walking because he has got a lot of people barking in his ear.
"People are questioning why he is not getting it done on Sunday. Is
it a question of guile? No, he has won big tournaments in the past. But
he has lost his confidence when it comes down to the last day and that
is why he is not winning.
"There is a hesitation on Sunday. He is not free-wheeling on Sunday
the way he does when he is at his best. You can see he is holding off a
lot of shots - that is indicative of doubt."
McGinley's advice for McIlroy on Sundays? Get tough and a little bit angry. Approach the final round with a bit of attitude.
"Rory is an inspirational player and when he gets inspired he is
great," the Sky Sports pundit added. "But he has not got that
inspiration on a Sunday.
"I believe Rory plays his best when he has got a little bit of a chip
on his shoulder and that is what I would like to see Rory coming back
with. When he gets into the Sunday: 'Get out of my way, here I come'.
"I think Rory is better when he has got an edge about him and has
something to prove. Generally, when he has that attitude, that is when
he bursts through."