Downbeat coverage upsets McIlroy

DUBLIN • Four-time Major golf champion Rory McIlroy's frustrating season boiled over on the eve of the Irish Open in criticising what he describes as the "negative spin" that has been put on his recent performances.

The Ulsterman is hosting the event at the K Club and his photograph appears all along the route to the course. It is also on the official programme, draw sheets, entry tickets and car passes.

However, it has been more than six months since he last tasted success and that was in the European Tour's season-ending championship in November.

In that time, he has had six top-10 finishes, including the latest in sharing fourth place a fortnight ago in the defence of his Wells Fargo Championship. But after an indifferent Players Championship effort last week, that included see-saw rounds of 72, 64, 75 and 70, he is not too pleased what he's been reading.

"I'm relaxed about it but it also frustrates me, I guess the negative spin that's put on my form," said the world No. 3.

"I know expectations for myself are higher... but you look at my record this year with a third in Abu Dhabi, a fifth in Dubai, a third at Doral, fourth in the Match Play so my bad weeks are top 10s, basically."

Over in Texas, another former No. 1, Jordan Spieth, is also hoping to win his home event.

The two-time Major champion wants to play with a smile on his face at the AT&T Byron Nelson this week, as he bids to shake off the gloom that has enveloped his game since his dramatic collapse at the Masters.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE


IRISH OPEN

Day 2: StarHub Ch204, 4.30pm

BYRON NELSON TOURNAMENT

Day 2: Ch204, tomorrow, 4am

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 20, 2016, with the headline 'Downbeat coverage upsets McIlroy'. Print Edition | Subscribe