Danny Willett: 'Stories of Rory Mcllroy falling out of love with golf is nonsense'

Danny Willett: 'Stories of Rory Mcllroy falling out of love with golf is nonsense'

Danny Willett, the 2016 Masters champion, believes the only reason there is a narrative around Rory McIlroy falling out of love with golf is that people are trying to create stories.

Last month, Rory McIlroy's former agent, Chubby Chandler, claimed that his former client has fallen out of love with golf, asserting that former greats of the game like Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus would never allow that to happen.

"McIlroy looks disinterested. Tiger and Nicklaus would never have sacrificed a year of their careers like he did," said Chandler.

"Rory looks disinterested to me. He doesn’t look sharp. It looks to me at the moment that last year took an awful lot out of him, and suddenly he got let down, and he’s finding it hard to get back up again.

"That’s what it looks like to me. There is no spark in his eyes, no twinkle. He had about an hour and a half on Saturday afternoon where he was like the old Rory, but you know that bouncy step he has when he’s playing well, it’s not there, and I’m sure that year out of his life, or 18 months, took its toll."

Willett believes that McIlroy's up-and-down form and failure to win a fifth major are part and parcel of the sport they both enjoy, and there is nothing more to add.

"It’s people trying to make stories! Rory is a great player, and his game, in theory, should suit Augusta pretty well. It’s a tough thing with certain golf courses, where if you’ve had a bad experience, it’s hard to escape that. I’ve had my share of experiences on golf courses where I’ve had a tough time looking back. When you stand there on certain shots and you don’t like them, they become harder," Willett said to Betfred.

"When he was in a great position to win the Masters back in 2011, it was a tough pill for him to swallow. I think that people talk about Rory’s recent form, but we all know golf is a strange game. Golf is a strange game; he hasn’t done this, but you can miss the cut six times in a row, and then the next time you can be winning a tournament.

WILMINGTON, Delaware, August 18: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland lines up a putt 11during the first round of the BMW Championship at Wilmington Country Club on August 18, 2022, in Wilmington, Delaware. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) )

McIlroy's last major win was in 2014 at the PGA Championship. The Holywood native is a four-time major champion, winning the 2011 U.S. Open, 2012 PGA Championship, 2014 Open Championship, and 2014 PGA Championship. However, since 2014, he has failed to win a fifth major.

During this time period, McIlroy has won other titles and climbed to the top of golf's world rankings, but none matter more than the Masters for McIlroy.

Nevertheless, he has been unable to secure another major win while his colleagues have succeeded in prestigious golf tournaments.

McIlroy is currently in contention at the Valero Texas Open and will contest the fifth major next week in Florida.

In last year's Masters, McIlroy failed to make the cut at Augusta and will have another chance for glory when the prestigious golf event begins on Thursday, April 11.

Willett believes that McIlroy will be working hard ahead of the iconic golf event next week.

"There’s no doubt in my mind that he’ll have been at home working hard and practicing to get certain shots right. I think that guys are so focused on certain events, and with Rory, he’ll be focused on working on shots that he knows he’ll need that week but that these shots might not have worked in past weeks.

"I’ve not spoken to him about it, but it would be amazing if he could be in contention again and pull it off because, for him, if his career finished now, no one would say that he didn’t achieve everything he should have. He’s had a phenomenal career, but deep inside, he’ll be thinking he wants to win the Masters, complete the Grand Slam, and put his name in the top echelons of golf."