Rory McIlroy Deserves Credit for Making Honest British Open Comments

Mike LynchContributor IIIApril 6, 2017

SANDWICH, ENGLAND - JULY 16:  Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland  hits to the eighth green during the third round of The 140th Open Championship at Royal St George's on July 16, 2011 in Sandwich, England.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Scott Halleran/Getty Images

Rory McIlroy entered the British Open as the favorite and disappointed with a 25th-place finish.  

Following the round, he made comments that some see as bitter or immature.  While the comments weren’t politically correct, they were honest.

"Yeah, I'm not a fan of golf tournaments that the outcome is predicted so much by the weather,” McIlroy said. "It's not my sort of golf...My game is suited for basically every golf course and most conditions, but these conditions I just don't enjoy playing in really. That's the bottom line. I'd rather play when it's 80 degrees and sunny and not much wind." 

Windy conditions and links golf do not suit McIlroy’s strengths as a golfer.  He shouldn’t be a fan of golf tournaments like the British Open.  While he clearly wasn’t thrilled, these comments aren’t bitter.  Rather, they reflect McIlroy’s tendency to give thorough and honest answers.

He didn’t say that wind had cost him the tournament or that it wasn’t fair.  He just said that his game isn’t suited to a tournament like the British Open.  That’s a completely honest assessment of himself.

Following the Masters, he took the time to answer questions when most golfers would have crawled into a corner.  He was rather blunt then as well.  McIlroy was confident that the collapse was a learning experience and that he’d have a chance to win a major again.  

Clearly he was correct about that, as shown in the U.S. Open.

Tiger Woods almost never gives a thorough answer and stays away from controversial comments.  Phil Mickelson is very careful to give a politically correct answer.  

Rory McIlroy is not like this at all, and it’s refreshing to see.  I’d rather hear an honest assessment of a course, tournament or player than the standard PR lines.

Finally, McIlroy’s past behavior has shown him to be neither immature nor a sore loser.  He was able to put his Masters loss in perspective, realizing his life as a pro golfer is one he can’t complain about.  That’s a very mature perspective for the then 21-year-old.  

He also had Charl Schwartzel take out his Green Jacket for a photo.  

I don’t think a sore loser would want to see the Green Jacket after choking away the Masters.