So what happened to Rory McIlroy at this year’s Masters? It has been suggested that he succumbed to the pressure and made swings that were completely unlike the ones he was making on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. I disagree with that completely. He hit the longest drive of the day on number one, and hit any number of great shots on the front nine, only to be let down by a balky putter. If he putts the way he had been he would have shot 1 or 2 under and would still have been a few ahead at the turn. At 10 and 13, not coincidentally the two holes that require a right to left tee shot, he over-hooks both, and compounds the problem on 10 by hitting two more poor shots and recording a triple bogey.
The question is this: did McIlroy’s swing change on Sunday for whatever reason? My sense is that it did not, at least not in an appreciably noticeable fashion, and I think the video proves that that is the case. While he is a great young player, his technique is questionable, and technique is a large part of what wins major championships. I think he is going to have work on his lower body action and learn to get his right arm more in front of him if he is going to be able to control the ball better under pressure. It could be that improving on one of those two items, given his immense talent, might be enough, but with both problems present his release action becomes complicated, and complicated release action is not what you want on the back nine on Sunday in any major.