In his weekly Limerick Leader column, Ivan Morris writes about local golf and how Rory McIlroy has been driven to distraction.
The Munster final of the JB Carr Trophy (for Veterans over 60) will be played on a home and away basis between old rivals, Limerick and Nenagh on dates to be arranged between now and August 10.
It is the third meeting of these keen rivals in national competitions this year. Nenagh defeated Limerick in the Barton Shield but that result was reversed in the Irish Senior Cup.
The JB Carr Trophy will be the rubber match that decides bragging rights.
Played in temperatures that soared in the high-80s the Limerick-Woodstock semi-final was as close a contest as is possible. The result wasn’t known for certain until Tim O’Malley of Limerick ‘downed’ a tricky, 10-foot putt on the 18th green in the fifth match of five.
Shortly before, John Fitzgerald had embraced the pressure and holed a similar putt from 5-feet to take his match in partnership with Eamonn Grimes to the 19th, which the Limerick pair won with a soundly played par. If those two putts had not been holed the result could have gone the other way.
Shot of the day was undoubtedly played by Joe Kemmy of Limerick GC.
Ironically, it was in vain.
Joe’s recovery from a difficult lie in the fairway bunker, 110-yards from the green on the 18th hole to within 15-feet of the cup did not shake the opposition who made their par to hold onto a 1-up lead.
It was the only bit of joy for Woodstock who had won the home leg the previous week by 3/2.
Results: R.Egan & C.Kirby defd L.McInerney & M.O’Brien, 2/1; E. Grimes & J. Fitzgerald defd D.Kenny & M.Cullinane at 19th; J.Kemmy & D.Ryan lost to PJ O’Neill and L. Cahir; T.Page & G.Gleeson defd J.McMahon & O.McNamara, 5/4; W.Shanahan & T.O’Malley defd D.Maurer & R.Kennedy, 2-holes.
Driven To Distraction By His Millions – is Rory McIlroy already a spent docket?
HAS he allowed his talent to be derailed since becoming a globe-trotting, multi-millionaire?
Distractions created by changing his management team and ALL of his tools of trade in one fell swoop, a naiive playing schedule and lack of pre-season preparation have all taken their toll.
Since he was teenager, Rory has been his own boss. It was he who decided everything about his future. His Mum, Dad and the GUI were mere facilitators.
From where I am looking, Rory sold his soul to the devil (NIKE) and has quickly come to hate the consequences.
Whether Rory likes or dislikes his equipment is but a small part of his dilemma.
He now has to make a difficult decision quickly that will cost him millions, or he will lose a lot more.
Rory clearly isn’t thanking his agent, Conor Ridge.
The body language between the two at Carton House was revealing. Ridge behaved like a dutiful hand maiden but Rory didn’t want to know.
I can only imagine how frutrated Ridge must be. After all, he has only done his job. Professional golf is all about money and Rory is learning the hard way that nobody gives you money without strings attached.
Golf is selfish and self-centred but it isn’t solitary. There are undeniable team aspects to it.
Caddies, agents, swing gurus, psychologists, physiotherapists, accountants, lawyers, fitness trainers and dieticians all play their parts.
Success is as much due to the behind the scenes team as the golfer himself.
Rory has let it be known that he wants to form his own management team with his father in charge.
Gerry McIlroy did a superb job nurturing his son’s unique talent but what schooling can McIlroy Senior possibly have for taking on such a role?
Wanting to take more responsibilty on one’s shoulders is admirable but it’s too big an ask.
Chubby Chandler (Rory’s first agent) is entitled to an “I told you so!”
In spite of two major wins, Chubby’s argument that Rory was too young to move to the USA is turning out to be correct.
While Rory appears to be wasting his talent, he will not have become a bad golfer in 12-months.
With a clear mind he could turn it all around very quickly but he has to make some tough decisions to start the ball rolling smoothly again. It seems to me he’d be be better off forfeiting the NIKE deal and forgetting about trying to create a Beckham-like branding empire.
If Rory concentrated all of his energy on winning tournaments instead of amassing a fortune, the money would still come – just a little more slowly.
One of the biggest problems with having a ‘hunderds of millions of dollars’ organisation is you need a raft of associates to administer it.
Some of those dependants may have their own agendas and, like National Governments, will find ways of flittering away your hard won millions.
Winning at the highest level in any sport means that everything in one’s life has to be in a perfectly, smooth running order. You have to cut out the superfluous and concentrate on what is important - winning. It’s hard to have sympathy because it’s Rory’s own choice.