Anger Management

Published Monday, 28 May 2012
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A lot can be said about the actions of sports stars when they are feeling the strain of high pressure competition. Some go into their shell, others appear to lose their cool and throw what I like to call a 'wobbler'.

Ultimately though the best players rise to the top and grow from their setbacks.

Rory McIlroy didn't have the best of times at the recent PGA Championship at Wentworth. The Holywood prodigy threw his club on the 12th hole following a less than stellar round, the US Open champion visibly frustrated with his poor form.

Having missed the cut with a career worst 79 things would go from bad to worse for Rory as he lost his world number one spot to Luke Donald and could face a fine for his actions.

I just wonder if this stigma associated with McIlroy will rear its ugly head again. Critics were quick to question McIlroy's temperament when suffered what appeared to be a crisis of confidence at the US Masters last year and at the 2010 Open at St Andrews when he threw away two apparently unassailable leads.

The Holywood man went on to prove his critics wrong as he won the US Open and become world number one.

The pressure on McIlroy to maintain such lofty heights must be incredible. It is impossible for any top class sports person to maintain the standards expected of them without a few mishaps here and there.

That is all this will be for Rory, a mishap. He seems the type to take things in his stride and I'm sure this recent setback won't stay in his mind for long.

I admit that when he dropped those leads at St Andrews and Augusta I myself was questioning if he had the bottle to win a major and how wrong I proved to be.

Just as he did so brilliantly at Congressional, following his disappointment at Augusta, Rory will bounce back. The Holywood star has all the talent in the world to go on and break records enjoying several major triumphs along the way.

The problem is that not only does he know it; the rest of the world knows it too.

Every time Rory steps onto a golf course there is so much expected of him, hardly a surprise that he feels the need to let go now and again. If that means the occasional golf club should go awry then so be it.

It possibly wasn't his most flattering image but sometimes a superstar golfer needs that kind of release to get their poor play out of their system.

There is sure to be even more pressure heaped on Rory's shoulders going into next month's Irish Open at Royal Portrush.

If he keeps his cool he can mark a day the famous north coast club will never forget.

Should he play as badly as he did last week my advice would be to duck for cover.

© UTV News
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Michael Law
Michael Law

Michael Law gives his thoughts on some of the major talking points from the world of sport, from football or darts to rugby and martial arts.

Michael is a media degree graduate and has been hidden in the UTV Library since 2010 archiving local sport and news stories for the newsroom.

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