Rory McIlroy should not be criticised for his performance at The Masters and has learnt key lessons that can help him win at Augusta National in future, according to Rich Beem.
It’s funny because I was reading some of the comments on social media on Sunday night, which is probably the dumbest thing I could have ever done, but I did anyway, and they were taking shots at him for not being in contention until that final round 64.
If you flip the numbers round and he shoots 64 the first round and then shoots 73 the last round and loses it, do we look at Rory McIlroy’s performance any differently?
He clearly did not have a swing on Thursday and Friday, there’s no doubt about it. If you watched some of the shots he hit, he was struggling, he was trying to figure out exactly what his swing was doing.
He put it all together on Sunday, he was absolutely brilliant.
Everybody in the field had the same opportunity yesterday as Rory McIlroy to go out and shoot 64, and yet he’s the only one that did that, he’s the only one that tied the Sunday Masters record by shooting that 64 and finishing out with a brilliant bunker shot at the 72nd hole.
This guy is just an unbelievable golfer, he’s going to go out and win more majors, there’s no doubt in my mind about that.
Rory can win at Augusta after learning crucial lessons
I just think that what he learned about his game on Sunday, he will take forward and I think that he will be in contention a lot more in the majors this year.
Yes, he has to get off to a better start in the majors going forward – 73s don’t cut it, there’s no doubt about that. He knows it, we know it, it’s just him going out and doing it.
But I thought what he did on Sunday was absolutely electrifying. I was at the edge of my seat all afternoon watching him, I thought it was brilliant.
I think everything he learned this week, not just yesterday, not having his A-game and understanding that he needs to miss in the right spots, because he didn’t miss in the right spots the first couple of days.
I think if he reflects and goes back and watches it and next year understand that his game-plan needs to be, when the pin is back left on No 1, I’ve got to hit it over there on the right hand side. Wherever the flag is at, you have to have a game plan around where those pins are located.
He’s such an aggressive player, and he will always fire at flagsticks if he thinks he can get to them, he just needs to understand that you can’t always do that and I think he learned quite a bit about that yesterday.
One of the big moments was on 14 yesterday, he missed it way left, pitched it out to the right short of the green and then hit that chip in there close. I think there’s always something to learn around Augusta National, I think he learned a lot yesterday.
Don’t be surprised to see Tiger in contention at St Andrews
Beem was also impressed by Tiger Woods’ return to major action at Augusta, and saw enough from the five-time Masters champion to believe he can contend for titles in future.
Watching him walk up the 18th hole yesterday afternoon, I got a little choked up.
If you look at how he was walking up there, it was clearly obvious that this man was in a lot of pain, he was struggling and it just wasn’t easy.
You just have to put yourself in his situation, what he put his mind and his body through this week just to compete, even just for two days let alone four, was absolutely extraordinary.
I believe that he can win. What he’s going to learn about his golf game is that it’s no longer a power game, it’s more about precision and finesse, and I think that there’s a lot of room for that in major championships, whether it’s at Augusta National, St Andrews, or at some other place going forward.
I think just the fact that he knows how to play Augusta National, and you don’t always have to be longest player to win and compete at Augusta, I think that’s a good opportunity.
But if he can get his body right, at St Andrews it wouldn’t shock me whatsoever to see him go out there and get in contention on Sunday.
I just believe he’s got a better understanding of where his game is at and he’s just got to reconfigure how he plays the game, and what, he’s done that that three or four times already during his career changing coaches, so he definitely is on the right track getting back.
When are the rest of this year’s majors?
Scheffler will now target further major success at the PGA Championship from May 19-22, which takes place at Southern Hills Country Club for the first time since Woods’ victory there in 2007, with the US Open then being held at The Country Club in Brookline from June 16-19.
The men’s major season then reaches its climax at The 150th Open from July 14-17, with Woods confirming he intends to tee it up at St Andrews, with all the majors once again exclusively live this year on Sky Sports Golf.
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