By Evin Priest
Although Rory McIlroy hasn’t won a US PGA Tour event in over a year, he hasn’t lost any of his feistiness with the Northern Irishman hitting out at “experts” critical of his fitness regime.
Following his emphatic win at the Deutsche Bank Championship, his first US title since the Wells Fargo Championship in May 2015, the 27-year-old was quizzed about what criticism he’d received during a recent form slump was the most unfair.
Although the four-time Major winner won the Irish Open for the first time in his career earlier this year, and never fell out of the top-five in the world rankings, McIlroy copped backlash from commentators and former players about the work he was doing in the gym.
One of McIlroy’s most vocal critics was NBC/Golf Channel broadcaster and former player Jonny Miller:
“I think he overdid the weight room, I don’t that helped him at all,” Miller said during the Open Championship broadcast. “Same thing with Tiger Woods. You just get carried away with wearing the tight shirts and showing off their muscles.”
But McIlroy hit back after taking out the second event of the FedEx Cup playoffs series at TPC Boston, saying if he “wasn’t in the gym, he wouldn’t be sitting here (in the winner’s press conference).”
“I think when people make judgements without being educated in the subject they’re criticising, I think that’s like for me getting in the gym, for example, that’s my pet peeve,” McIlroy said.
“It’s a big part of who I am; it’s a big part of my success.
“The reason I play at such a high level, and hopefully continue to play at a high level for the next 10, 15 years is because of the work I did in the gym. That’s always, I feel, an unfair criticism.”