Rory McIlroy: Why Golf's Hottest Young Star Will Come Up Empty

Adam Spencer@AdamSpencer4Correspondent IJuly 18, 2012

Rory McIlroy: Why Golf's Hottest Young Star Will Come Up Empty

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    Rory McIlroy took the golf world by storm in 2011, winning a major tournament and suffering a heartbreaking collapse in another one.

    He’s since become one of the most popular golfers in the world and seems poised to take over the No. 1 ranking in the near future.

    But just because he’s the eventual heir to the golf throne doesn’t mean he’ll be successful again right away.

    Here are five reasons McIlroy will come up short in the 2012 British Open.

5. He's Young

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    McIlroy is only 23 years old and hasn’t yet realized his full potential.

    With plenty of experienced stars like Tiger Woods playing excellent golf recently, it’ll be tough for McIlroy to pull off a British Open upset.

    Other golfers are more accustomed to the constantly changing weather in England and know how to adjust better than the youngster.

4. The Weather Will Be Bad

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    The forecast for Lancashire is not ideal for a golfer who plays the power style of golf McIlroy plays.

    Thursday, Friday and Saturday are all supposed to be rainy and chilly.

    Then, it is supposed to warm up and be sunny on Sunday, but the wind will nearly double from eight miles per hour to 15.

    Both the rain and the wind will affect McIlroy’s drives and could see him dealing with a lot of missed fairways.

3. He's Distracted

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    McIlroy has been dating young tennis star Caroline Wozniacki for quite a while now.

    As Rick Reilly points out in his most recent column, as their love grows, his game suffers.

    How big of an impact his relationship has had on his focus is debatable, but it has had at least a small impact on his game.

2. He Struggles Under Pressure

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    McIlroy is uncatchable when he has a big lead heading into the final round of a tournament. But he looks a lot more mortal when he’s only up by a stroke or two entering Sunday.

    Back in Tiger Woods’ heyday, the tournament was over if he had a lead after three days of play. McIlroy still isn’t to that point.

    He might get there someday, but he’s still very catchable if he’s leading after three rounds of this year’s British Open.

1. He's Struggled Recently

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    McIlroy is not playing very well right now, missing the cut in a few of his recent events.

    After starting the year off by grabbing the No. 1 ranking from Luke Donald, inconsistent play has haunted the youngster.

    Heading into the British Open on a cold streak isn’t exactly a recipe for success. Don't expect him to turn things around overnight.