CARNOUSTIE, Scotland (Reuters) – Rory McIlroy shrugged off criticism from TV analyst Butch Harmon after launching his title challenge at the 147th British Open with a confidence-boosting two-under-par 69 on Thursday.
Harmon, former coach of Tiger Woods, told Sky Sports viewers the 29-year-old Northern Irishman had become too “robotic” and suggested he concentrate fully on golf and forget about his brand and endorsement contracts.
Comments - McIlroy - Reporters - Birdies - Stroke
“It’s easy to make comments when you don’t know what’s happening,” McIlroy told reporters after three birdies were partially offset by a dropped stroke at the par-four fifth. “I haven’t spoken to Butch in a long time.
“He doesn’t know what I’m working on in my swing and he doesn’t know what’s in my head. It’s easy to speculate but unless you actually know what’s happening, I just don’t really take any notice of it.”
McIlroy - Hopes - Victory - Efforts - Month
McIlroy’s hopes of claiming a fifth major victory have sometimes been scuppered by indifferent first-round efforts, an 80 in last month’s U.S. Open being the most recent example.
He admitted it “wasn’t pretty off the tee” on Thursday but said he would have happily taken a 69 at the start of the round.
“I didn’t see the fairway much,” added...
Wake Up To Breaking News!
Been there, done that, twice...