Rory McIlroy to reassess his game, may skip Northern Trust Open
Following his T-50 finish at Bellerive, Rory McIlroy is considering skipping the Northern Trust Open in two weeks time.
Per , McIlroy is going to “take a couple of days off [to] reflect on what I need to do going forward.”
“Historically, the first FedEx playoff event hasn’t been my best event of the four. I’ve played well in Boston. I’ve played well in the other two. So we’ll see. I’ll see how I feel. I’ll do some practice this week and see if I feel ready to go there and play. Obviously, five out of six weeks or whatever it is leading up to the Ryder Cup.”
McIlroy said, “My swing really hasn’t been where I want it to be,” saying that he’s been missing the ball both left and right.
Statistically McIlroy’s 2016 season, in which he won both the Deutsche Bank Championship and the Tour Championship, as well as the Irish Open, was markedly better.
Since that time, the Ulsterman’s approach play has suffered somewhat: McIlroy dropped from 31st on Tour in strokes gained: approach two seasons ago to 81st this season. However, he’s still gaining strokes on the field.
Compared to two seasons ago when he won twice, McIlroy’s driving is well off. In 2016, he was first on Tour in strokes gained: off-the-tee picking up an incredible 1.230 strokes on the field average. This year, while he’s 14th, McIlroy is picking up a mere .636 strokes.
Ultimately, however, McIlroy was fourth in total strokes gained in 2016. He’s 11th this season. So stating that he’s experiencing massive swing dysfunction or slumping in the extreme would be inaccurate.
That said, taking a couple of days off and evaluating is a wise move. McIlroy will be disappointed with his major finishes this season, and the only event he truly cares about the remainder of this season is the Ryder Cup. Best to figure out how to put himself in position to play well in Paris a the end of September and begin plotting his path to Augusta in six months time.