The analyst ripped into the pre-tournament favourite after he posted a first round 79 yesterday.
Brandel Chamblee Rips Into Rory McIlroy After Round 1 Woes
It has been well documented how shockingly bad Rory McIlroy’s first round at the 2019 Open Championship was yesterday. From the get-go he struggled as he pulled his opening tee shot out of bounds on the first which set up a quadruple bogey eight. He then steadied the ship somewhat for the rest of the day before a shocking end at the 16th and 18th holes which led to an opening round of 79.
There were many who were sympathetic to Rory’s tumultuous round but Golf analyst Brandel Chamblee went in the complete opposite direction. Speaking with Frank Nobilo on Golf Channels ‘Live From’, he pulled no punches when discussing the Northern Irishman;
“Has a sporting event ever had the wind knocked out of it quicker than this one today?” Chamblee asked. “This is nothing new what we saw today out of Rory McIlroy. He has had – historically – a bad run of first rounds. When someone plays poor golf in the beginning of a tournament and then great golf the rest of the way then it’s not something physical. It’s not something technical. That they’re not putting themselves in the right frame of mind to either begin a golf tournament or end a golf tournament.
“On paper coming in here, demonstrably, Rory McIlroy was the best player,” Chamblee continued. “I know what the world rankings say. But when someone consistently performs under expectations, the word is choking. We shy away from it. But now it’s five years [removed from winning a major]. And there was a reason why people shied away from picking him this week. And it was because everybody felt like the moment was going to be too big for him. You don’t like to be correct in these presumptions, but it played out exactly that way.”
Chamblee of course is never one to shy away from controversial statements but there is a lot of truth to the comments above too. With the amount of pressure on McIlroy to perform this week and the nature of his first round, it is difficult to describe is in any other way than choking. Regardless the weekend at The Open will be better with his inclusion so as the course record holder who knows, maybe he can go low today to sneak into the weekend.
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