2013 has been a struggle of titanic proportions for Rory McIlroy. After winning his second major at the 2012 PGA Championship in a landslide, the Northern Irishman has seen a dramatic dip in form this year. He hasn't won a tournament, finished outside the Top 10 at both majors, controversially withdrew from another tourney, and has missed the cut in his last 2 events in Europe.
The microscope on McIlroy has intensified as analysts speculate and pontificate over what exactly caused the next big thing in golf and the #2 ranked player in the world to fall all the way to #47 in the current FedEx Cup rankings, behind someone named Josh Teater.
Never one to shy away from sharing his opinion, Johnny Miller has the answer. Obviously, Rory McIlroy's relationship with tennis pro Caroline Wozniacki is partly to blame. Miller told the San Francisco Chronicle that Rory was being distracted by young love:
"I think he's in love for the first time," Miller said, referring to McIlroy's relationship with tennis star Caroline Wozniacki. "It's a wonderful feeling, and it's distracting."
To be fair to the NBC analyst, Miller would also list much more likely sources for Rory's losing of the plot on the golf course – namely, his equipment switch and huge contract with Nike and poor mechanics. Those are real reasons – his relationship is not.
Do we really think Rory McIlroy, professional golfer and two-time major winner, is too busy thinking about which cute matching holiday sweaters he and Caro are going to wear next to concentrate over a six footer? For that matter, the real reason why this makes no sense is that McIlroy's relationship with Wozniacki goes back to 2011 – well before he was the #1 golfer in the world. Before he won the US Open. And before he won the PGA Championship. Now all of a sudden being in love is hampering his career? Unless there's a loose fire hydrant involved, I'm not buying it.
Naturally, the shoe fits on the other foot as well. Earlier this year, rumors were flying that a rumored split between the celebrity sports couple was the cause of McIlroy's problems on the golf course. So which is it?
Rory McIlroy is struggling because he may be breaking up with Caroline Wozniacki.
Also, Rory McIlroy is struggling because he's madly in love with Caroline Wozniacki.
Here's the lesson kids: never date and play sports at the same time.