Ranking the Causes of Rory McIlroy's Struggles in 2013

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Ranking the Causes of Rory McIlroy's Struggles in 2013
Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

Rory McIlroy's 2013 PGA Tour season was supposed to be another celebrated step toward his pending dominance of professional golf.

Instead, the past seven months have been a parade of questionable play, unquestionably bad judgement, waning confidence and inconsistent performances that have added up to a frustrating winless season.

Not only has the young Irishman's progress stalled, but Rory has also taken a noticeable step backwards since switching to Nike Golf equipment in January 2013.

In addition to his winless drought dating back to August 2012, he's struggled mightily in the season's two majors and lost the world's No. 1 ranking to Tiger Woods back in March.

While there's little doubt the decline is linked to his switch from Titleist to Nike, multiple physical and mental culprits have conspired to stymie Rory's rise in 2013.

Here is a look at five significant reasons the 24-year-old McIlroy has found the sledding so difficult the past seven months and why he's desperate for answers heading into next week's British Open.

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