Former Masters champion dismisses Rory McIlroy rumour

Former Masters champion Danny Willett says the rumour Rory McIlroy has fallen out of love with golf are simply wide of the mark.

Rory McIlroy
Rory McIlroy

Former Masters champion Danny Willett says rumours Rory McIlroy has fallen out of love with the game are untrue. 

The Englishman, who is touch-and-go for this year's major after he had surgery on his shoulder last September, reckons 'people are just trying to make stories' about the Northern Irishman. 

The claim that McIlroy is no longer enjoying golf came from his former agent Chubby Chandler. 

"McIlroy looks disinterested," Chandler previously said. 

"Tiger and Nicklaus would have never sacrificed a year of their careers like he did."

Chandler was referring to McIlroy taking centre stage in the PGA Tour's schism with LIV Golf


These days McIlroy's stance on LIV has softened and he has taken a significant step back from being involved in the off-course arguments by resigning from the Tour's policy board. 

In a bid to complete the career grand slam, McIlroy has changed his preparations once again before his latest tilt at Augusta National. 

He will reportedly skip the Masters Par 3 Contest. 

And he has been working with Tiger Woods' legendary coach Butch Harmon to eliminate a two-way miss with his irons. 

Harmon recently spoke to GolfMagic about his meeting with McIlroy where he stressed he consulted the Ulsterman's long-time coach Michael Bannon first. 

"It's people trying to make stories," Willett, the 2016 Masters winner, told BetFred of the McIlroy claim. 

Rory McIlroy and Tommy Fleetwood
Rory McIlroy and Tommy Fleetwood

He added: "Rory is a great player and his game in theory should suit Augusta pretty well. It’s a tough thing with certain golf courses where if you’ve had a bad experience, it’s hard to escape that. 

"I’ve had my experiences of golf courses where I’ve had a tough time looking back. When you stand there on certain shots and you don’t like it, they become harder.

"When he was in a great position to win the Masters back in 2011, it was a tough pill for him to swallow. I think that people talk about Rory’s recent form but we all know golf is a strange game. 

"Golf is a strange game, he hasn’t done this, but you can miss the cut six times in a row and then the next time you can be winning a tournament. 

"There’s no doubt in my mind that he’ll have been at home working hard and practicing to get certain shots right. I think that guys are so focused on certain events and with Rory, he’ll be focused on working on shots that he knows he’ll need that week but that these shots might not have worked in past weeks."

Willett said he has not had the opportunity to speak to McIlroy recently. 

He believes, though, that should McIlroy not win the Masters his career will still be the stuff of legend. 

"He’s had a phenomenal career but deep inside, he’ll be thinking he wants to win the Masters, complete the grand slam and put his name in the top echelons of golf," he said. 

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