Rory McIlory crumbled under pressure at the Masters this year, and many golf fans are trying to deduce where his demise came from. While some are pointing to his biggest rival, Jordan Spieth, as his reason for caving, others are pointing to the possibility that maybe his personal relationship with his fiancee, Erica Stoll, affected his performance.
The Irish golfer was a favorite going into 2016 Masters, with thousands cheering for his career grand slam. He even posted a picture of him on the cover of Golf Digest, showing that he is ready to take the grand sweep at the age of 26.
But the reality was much harsher for golf’s favorite man. He fell way down on the leaderboard, with his rival Jordan Spieth taking the lead.
“Rory McIlroy admitted he felt the pressure of trying to complete the career grand slam after a disappointing weekend at Augusta National,” reports ESPN. McIlroy went into the third round of the Masters just a shot behind defending champion Jordan Spieth but struggled to a 77 to fall five shots adrift, a deficit he never threatened to make up on Sunday.”
The reality was that “Jordan Spieth came along and won the Masters, then the U.S. Open, and then came close at the British Open,” reports USA Today. “That was followed by Jason Day claiming the PGA Championship. Suddenly, Rory was the third in a group of three.”
But at the end of the day, it was not even Jordan Spieth that took home the victory either. It looks like this year’s Masters was rough on all the favorites.
“I was in a great position going into the weekend and I just didn’t play the golf I needed to when it really mattered,” Rory added in the same ESPN interview. “The more times I can get in position to win this tournament, the more times I’ll learn and I’ll know what not to do. And I feel like I learned a lot yesterday reflecting on it, and that’s something that hopefully I’ll do things differently.”
Sounds like the 26-year-old golfer is taking this failure as a good lesson for his future career.
But some are hinting at the possibility that his romantic relationship with Erica Stoll could have also been a reason in his bad play this weekend.
He has cited her as his source of normalcy and stability for a long time.
“For me, Erica brings such a level of normality to everything,” Rory said to Telegraph UK. “She has a calming presence, a sereneness and that’s not just on me; it is noticeable in any company. She has been a great influence on me and has given such a great balance to my life; between who I am when people see me out here and who I am at home.”
This could mean that his bad performance had nothing to do with Erica Stoll. At the same time though, he has not spoken about his engagement since last fall. He has been treating her to all the luxuries that money can buy, spending the new year at a castle, and making sure that he splits his time between Ireland and Palm Springs, FL.
Check out the beautiful couple here!
Rory was previously engaged to Caroline Wozniacki, another famous athlete in the tennis world. Their breakup was very public, with the rumors being that he got cold feet right after the wedding invitations were sent out. While she is not dating anyone seriously at the moment, it looks like Rory McIlroy is ready to settle down with Erica Stoll.
Do you think Rory will go forward with Erica even after his terrible performance? Let me know in the comments below!
[Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images]