Is it dental or mental for World no. 1

McIlroy’s withdrawal from the Honda classic was just the latest in a series of troubles for the world no.1. The Down native has found it hard to adapt to becoming the latest poster boy for Nike during the off-season.

So far it has been a season to forget for McIlroy, as he has failed to get used to his new clubs. He is now increasingly coming under the spotlight.

Despite his struggles, however, McIlroy has received support from fellow professionals. Nike stable mate Tiger Woods, has backed his talent to shine through once he adapts to the new clubs.

However, last Friday’s withdrawal, which was blamed on a toothache, has brought about a backlash against the World no.1. Fellow professionals, including his playing partner, questioned whether McIlroy was influenced by his score.

After a level par 70 in Thursday’s opening round, McIlroy was visibly struggling in the second round, falling to seven over par after his first eight holes. It was at this point that McIlroy informed his playing partners that he was unable to continue.

This was a major turnaround for the world no.1, who was the defending champion. Since signing a $250m deal with Nike a few months ago, McIlroy has been disappointing on the green.

Despite this, it is still very early days in the 2013 season, with the Honda Classic only being his third event of the season. Despite poor form there is still plenty of time before the first major of the year, for McIlroy to cure any yips in his game.

Fans of McIlroy will hope his troubles are all in his head and the world’s most naturally gifted player’s talents will overcome the struggles with his new clubs.

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