Altvater: McIlroy’s struggles continue at Memorial TournamentWritten by Fred Altvater | | BackNine@toledofreepress.com
Rory McIlroy continues to struggle through an inconsistent 2013 season. He shot a very untidy six-over par 78 on the opening day of the Memorial Tournament on May 30, but he did follow that with a three-under par 69 to make the cut at three-over par on May 31.
His scorecard for the first round Thursday resembled a small child’s artistic effort with colorful circles and squares. The round included a double bogey on the par-3 No. 12, six bogeys, two birdies and nine pars.
In spite of experiencing two rain delays during his second round, he got it going and his ball-striking was much improved on Friday.
He starts the third round June 1 at the bottom of the field and 12 shots behind the leader Bill Haas who is nine-under par.
His statistics for the year yield a glimpse of what results are below expectations. He is ninth in driving distance at 300.1 yards. He ranks No. 113 in driving accuracy and is only hitting 58.57 percent of fairways. He is ranked No. 122 in total driving, but is No. 4 in greens-in-regulation at 71.33 percent.
Perhaps the most telling statistic is his ranking at No. 100 in the important strokes-gained-putting category.
He is hitting it long and finding greens. He is just not getting the ball in the hole soon enough.
Even though he has struggled, he has four top-10 finishes in just eight starts. He has not missed a cut this year, although he did withdraw from the Honda during the second round.
He is ranked No. 31 on the FedEx Cup and has earned $1.3 million for the year.
Does anyone remember when Tiger Woods struggled to win at different times during his career, but still seemingly finished top-10 in nearly every tournament that he entered?
McIlroy is not winning at a pace that golf fans and media have come to expect, but he is not that far from being very good.
There are three major championships, three World Golf Championship tournaments and four FedEx Cup playoff events yet to be contended in 2013.
A few more putts that find the bottom of the cup will put young McIlroy right back in the winners circle and rekindle the Woods/McIlroy rivalry discussion.