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5 Biggest Weaknesses in Rory McIlroy's Game

Steve SilvermanFeatured ColumnistOctober 19, 2012

5 Biggest Weaknesses in Rory McIlroy's Game

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    Rory McIlroy may be the No. 1 golfer in the world, but his game is not perfect.

    McIlroy, 23, has a stellar game and a beautiful and talented girlfriend in tennis player Caroline Wozniacki. His life is on track to be stellar.

    But what appears perfect doesn't always remain so. If McIlroy is as good as his ranking says he is, he will be the dominant golfer for many years.

    However, as long as he is off the tee and as strong as he is in pressure situations, McIlroy won't remain the best golfer in the world unless he continues to work hard at his skills.

    It's not that he has traditional "weaknesses," but he does have to work on certain aspects to get better. Most of them are intangibles, but they are important to his continued development.

Concentration

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    You may remember the Ryder Cup fiasco in late September.

    No, we're not talking about the U.S. performance on the final day of the competition. At the start of that final day, Rory McIlroy is seen speeding to the course (video above) in a private car minutes before his match against American golfer Keegan Bradley.

    McIlroy made it to Medinah Country Club with just a few minutes to spare before he would have been disqualified for being late.

    McIlroy was able to win the match, but it could have been disastrous for the European team if he had been late.

    McIlroy said he was late because of a time zone miscalculation.

    The best player in the world doesn't cut it so close and doesn't make that kind of mistake.

Putting

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    There's little doubt that Rory McIlroy knows how to putt and can do it well.

    However, compared to the rest of the game it needs a bit of work.

    During the 2012 golf season, McIlroy gained .087 strokes while putting, a figure that ranked 79th on the tour.

    Prior to the 2010 season, he was known for missing a short putt on occasion. He's less likely to do that now, but he must continue to work on his putting.

Competitive Attitude

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    Before Rory McIlroy won his first major at the 2011 U.S. Open, he had a chance to own a Masters green jacket.

    However, in the final round it all fell apart for him and he shot 80. Instead of winning the Masters, he finished tied for 15th.

    He showed his championship attitude by coming back shortly thereafter with the U.S. Open win.

    However, his reaction to blowing the final round was somewhat unsettling. He told interviewers that he believed his time would come and did not get upset about the poor final round, at least publicly.

    Other golfers might have hit the practice tee immediately, but McIlroy did not. It didn't hurt his development, but it could in the future.

Conditioning

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    Rory McIlroy is the No. 1 golfer in the world and he keeps himself in good shape and always has followed an exercise regimen.

    However, it may not be enough just to maintain his fitness level and work with a physical therapist to stay flexible.

    He may need to get stronger as the years go by to counteract any loss of flexibility that may come with time. Tiger Woods certainly added physical strength over the years as he held the No. 1 ranking for many years.

    Getting stronger may serve McIlroy well in the years to come. He seems to be paying more attention to this, following the example of his girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki and her physical sport that requires maximum conditioning (source: Golf Digest).

Driving Accuracy

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    Rory McIlroy is a big hitter. Perhaps the biggest hitter on the tour.

    According to his PGA driving stats, McIlroy was fifth in driving distance in 2012, averaging 310.1 yards off the tee. When it comes to hitting a big drive at a key moment, McIlroy is almost certainly the best in the world.

    Sometimes when you have that much length, you are going to sacrifice a bit of accuracy. That was the case for McIlroy because he did not always keep his drives on the fairway.

    McIlroy hit 56.61 percent of his drives in the fairway in 2012. That ranked 152nd on the tour.

    He was clearly able to overcome that issue, but staying in the fairway will help him stay on top.

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