BELEAGUERED former world No1 Rory McIlroy admits he may seek help from a sports psychologist after his fall from grace continued with a woeful eight-over-par 79 at the Open yesterday.
The two-time Major winner dropped seven shots on the back nine to leave himself in danger of missing the cut at one of golf’s big four tournaments for only the second time in 13 outings.
McIlroy finished tied for 41st at last month’s US Open, tied for 25th at the Masters and is without a win in 2013, having established himself as the main threat to Tiger Woods’s supremacy last year.
The 23-year-old, who carded a double bogey six at the 12th and putted into a bunker at 15, said he felt “brain dead” and that he would consider revisiting sports psychologist Bob Rotella, whom he has worked with before.
“You’ve just got to try and play your way out of it. But it’s nothing to do with technique,” said McIlroy, who switched clubs from Titleist to Nike before the start of the season.
“It’s all mental out there. And then I just need to concentrate. But sometimes I feel like I’m walking around out there and I’m unconscious.
“I’ve worked with Bob before a little bit, and, yeah, it could be beneficial to see someone like that again. We’ll see.
“I felt like I struck the ball okay. So as long as I can get my mind in a better place, I can go out there and try and shoot a good score [today]. I didn’t hit that many bad shots; I had a lot of good shots.
“I feel like I made a lot of progress over the last couple of weeks, and then shooting a round like this is not what you want.”
5 Zach Johnson (US)
4 Rafael Cabrera-Bello (SPA), Mark O’Meara (US)
3 Miguel Angel Jimenez (SPA), Dustin Johnson (US), Brandt Snedeker (US), Tom Lehman (US), Shiv Kapur (IND)
2 Todd Hamilton (US), Phil Mickelson (US), Angel Cabrera (ARG), Jordan Spieth (US), Tiger Woods (US), Francesco Molinari (ITA)