What’s Caused the Decline of Rory McIlroy?

What Has Caused the Decline in Rory McIlroy?

There’s been a player touched by the gods in any sport. In basketball, there have been a few including Michael Jordan. In football, it’s Pele, Maradona, Messi, and Ronaldo. In golf, Tiger Woods seemed like the chosen one until Rory McIlroy arrived. The Northern Irish golfer tore through the ATP tour in his 20s, becoming one of only 4 players to win 4 majors until the age of 25. His fantastic career continued after, yet somehow fell off the rails in the past few years.

If you look at the Casumo sports betting odds, you won’t find McIlroy’s name among the top golf major favourites currently, which is a far cry from his dominance over the past decade. While he’s had a few good wins this year, McIlroy has fallen off the top 10 and is a shadow of the player he used to be. He’s over 5 years removed from his last major win, so everyone is rightfully asking the question has McIlroy forever lost his magic?

On Top of the World from a Young Age

Born in 1989, Rory McIlroy has had a pretty successful career as an amateur. In 2005 at the age of 16, he become the youngest ever golfer to win both the Irish Close Championship and the West of Ireland Championship. His success at a young age continued internationally especially after he decided to forgo golf scholarship from the East Tennessee State University. Playing in Europe, McIlroy broke record after record as amateur, eventually turning pro in 2007.

His great form continued from the first year. He earned over $277,000 and finished 95th on the Order of Merit list. A year later, Tiger Woods invited McIlroy in the Target World Challenge, although he declined the invitation and opted for the European Open the same week. He finished the 2008 season with 6 top-10 finishes, and it was clear a new golf star was born.

In the years that followed, McIlroy won numerous tournaments including 4 majors. The last one came in 2015 when he won the Masters Tournament, and since then, the Northern Irish golfer went quiet. He has yet to repeat his successes from the past and fallen out of the top 10 on the PGA Ranking list. He once held the top position for 106 weeks in total, but now he’s just a shadow of himself.

Where Did It Go Wrong?

So, where did it all go wrong for Rory McIlroy? Experts believe that the blazing hot start to his career is to blame. He won it all as a young golfer and enjoyed life a bit too much later. He’s currently 16th on the PGA Tour scoring rank, down from 4th in 2019. He’s fallen off the wagon on the Order of Merit list too (20th), and doesn’t look half the player he’s been.

McIlroy admits that he can and must improve. However, the golf world seems to be forgetting one fact. He’s still only 32 and has a whole career ahead of him. If McIlroy finds the spark once again, he’ll light the PGA Tour ablaze. 


  1. shaun stocks

    Rory has not won a major since 2014 and has not won the masters yet. He needs it to complete the career grand slam

  2. Phillip Barrett

    Rory has not won a major since 2014 and has not won the masters yet.

    Trying to hit the driver to distances like DeShambles isn’t doing him any good. He hits it far enough with his usual swing. Improve his wedge play like DJ did. His iron play and putting are still great. Will win plenty more tournaments and I’m sure eventually The Masters.

  3. I remember the first time I saw Rory play. It was on the golf channel he was playing against Paddrick Harrington. They where opening a new golf course in Ireland it was a publicity match. Rory was a teenager he absolutely destroyed the course and Harrington. It was crazy, I thought his was swing the best I had ever seen. Not sure what happened but he had/has the talent to be up there with Woods and Nicklaus no doubt.

  4. Rory’s game may have fallen off the last few years. However, as an ambassador for the game of golf he is among the greatest names of all time. Rory is well spoken, thoughtful, caring and kind. The kind of person you would want your child to become. In every way Rory is… pure class! Many years ago at the conclusion of the 2014 US open in Pinehurst, my teenage son was helping the players with their bags at the airport. Rory and Ricky Fowler thanked my son then spent about 20 minutes just chatting with him, Before they left Rory took his hat off, signed it and gave it to my son. Little things matter to this man… it is called character!

  5. Joel Bennion

    Until Rory gets more focused, patient, and plays smarter course management, he will never win another major. He needs to start thinking his way around the course like Tiger, Jack, and now Rahm. They all have the power but know when to use it and when not too. Rory has been a train wreck and consistently self destructs his opportunities. Rory has more talent than anyone I have ever seen except Jack, but his course management is one of the worst. All he every knows is to always go for it. It creates a lot of birdie’s but just as many negative holes. He has to eat his pride and forget about his testosterone. Rory is my favorite player but he’s hard to watch at times when he blows opportunities over and over again and now getting older. He needs to stop taking his talent for granted before its too late. He is robbing us and himself of how great he could be. Out of the top 10 now he should be completely embarrassed and ashamed. Sad to see.

  6. Gary you g

    Rory mcilroy has openly stated his desire to get to world no 1. I think he is as far away from the top 10 as no1. His short game has been nothing short of awful and he must be the worst putter on tour lately. I’m not beating him up, I have always thought he was the most talented golfer in the world. He just seems to have no confidence at all in his game from his second shot onwards. For me he needs to take some time out and practice his short game and putting for a few months.

  7. He dumped Caroline Wozniacki via text message, just days before their wedding. Karma.

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