Blog Entry

Rory makes wrong sort of waves at Irish Open

Posted on: July 28, 2011 10:14 am
Edited on: July 28, 2011 11:29 am
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Reigning U.S. Open champion Rory McIlroy splashed a shot into the water on the final hole of the Irish Open on Thursday morning, then waded into a controversy of a different sort entirely.

After leading for much of the back nine, McIlroy hit a risky shot from a fairway bunker on the 18th on Thursday that flew into a greenside pond, leading to a double-bogey and a 71 that left him four shots off the early lead.

Jay Townsend, a longtime commentator for the BBC who is also working this week on the European Tour Productions broadcast of the event airing on the Golf Channel in the States, was unsparing in his description of McIlroy’s sloppy round.

“McIlroy's course management was shocking,” Townsend, a former tour professional, wrote on his Twitter account.

He wasn’t through.

“Some of the worst course management I have ever seen, beyond under-10 boys' golf competition," Townsend continued.

McIlroy, 22, quickly thumbed out a feisty response that many believed crossed the line.

McIlroy quickly replied: "Shut up ... you're a commentator and a failed golfer, your opinion means nothing!"

It means something to the broadcast networks that employ him, and Townsend has been plying his trade for years, gaining a great deal of respect from his peers. Twitter followers immediately began weighing in with suggestions that McIlroy’s caddie, J.P. Fitzgerald, didn’t have enough spine to talk his man out of risky decisions.

Townsend then Tweeted that McIlroy, “should hire Stevie Williams, as I thought J.P. allowed some SHOCKING course management today.”

Later, when McIlroy called him out, Townsend wrote, “Sorry, but I stand by my comments.”

McIlroy followed with, “Well, I stand by my caddie.”

Townsend, assigned to follow McIlroy's threesome all morning, first questioned McIlroy's decision to hit a driver off the 18th tee during the Golf Channel's tape-delayed broadcast in the States. McIlroy, ranked No. 4 in the world, shoved the drive into a fairway bunker as others laid back off the tee.

To which another commentator in the Golf Channel feed, Denis Hutchinson, replied, "You don't want to tame him down too much," as he applauded McIlroy's youthful spontaneity.

That notion didn't sit well with Townsend.

Just after McIlroy yanked his approach shot and the ball was still in the air, headed toward a certain watery grave, Townsend said, "There you go, that's why you don't hit it in the bunker -- watch this. You guys talked about 'refreshing,' the way he plays. He plays silly. Several times already today."

A Golf Channel spokesman had no comment on Townsend's remarks, verbal or written.

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Comments

Since: Mar 8, 2007
Posted on: July 28, 2011 10:23 pm
 

Rory makes wrong sort of waves at Irish Open

@Varhawk:  Exactly right.  And comments like those probably came from some couch-grunts who never watches Euro PGA golf, so they've never even heard Townsend's work.  (Can't believe I agree with Varhawk. Is armageddon approaching?)  Laughing



Since: Jul 28, 2011
Posted on: July 28, 2011 8:56 pm
 

Rory makes wrong sort of waves at Irish Open

Critics. What a joke you all are. Just don't have any idea what it's like to be an athlete and a competitor. He is young, he is fiery and he is the most exciting thing to happen to golf in ten years. Keep bitching about everything in the world and the winners will keep on winning. Critics, WTF...



Since: Feb 3, 2007
Posted on: July 28, 2011 8:15 pm
 

Rory makes wrong sort of waves at Irish Open

Everyone commented on how he was so classy. It's easy when your on top. I've always said he was a little too mouthy and when anyone DARED to critique him, the mouth comes out. Do you think the next 'superstar' can hold up under the pressure? He's got a long way to go to wear the crown.



Since: Nov 30, 2009
Posted on: July 28, 2011 5:43 pm
 

Rory makes wrong sort of waves at Irish Open

Steve, you said the next TWs? Haha. What a fake!!!!



Since: May 9, 2010
Posted on: July 28, 2011 4:02 pm
 

Rory makes wrong sort of waves at Irish Open

Jay Townsend was absolutely right in every respect. The fact that McIlroy resorted to a cheap ad hominem attack proves that McIlroy knows he was right, but his pride won't let him publicly admit it. Indeed, it was this very pride, this malignant pride, that cause McIlroy to resort to the base ad hominem. In conclusion, Townsend's commentary was very refreshing. We need more such commentary. I'm tired of the processed talking heads.



Since: Jul 8, 2009
Posted on: July 28, 2011 3:58 pm
 

Rory makes wrong sort of waves at Irish Open

most posts seem to be supportive of Mcllroy...I agree.

This reporter has no idea what Mciilory's game plan was for the day. Yes, shoot the lowest score you can shoot but any tour player will tell you that they will experiment with different mind processes during an event just to keep things fresh. I once had a sports psychologist ask me to hit my first shot of the event out of bounds or out of play just to get the "perfectionistic" crap out of my head.

This sort of reminds me of Curtis Strange trying to mock Tiger Woods when Woods first turned professional. Strange basically asked Tiger if he felt he would dominate (not the exact words) and Woods basically said what he believes...yes, that he plays to win and expects to win. Strange then proceeded to say something like "he'll learn". Who got the last laugh on that one and tis is coming from a 2 time US Open winner. I have no idea what Townsend has accomplished.

These ex-players turned commentator have a big ego too. They don't like seeing young guns do so well without "paying their dues". I think that is why I like Azinger and Faldo so much...Jacobsen too. They call it like they see it but they are not trying to take over the show or start something they can't finish. This guy put Mcilloru in a no win situation just to write a story...he baited him. Rory bit and I am glad he did.

Cheers to him.




Since: Oct 20, 2008
Posted on: July 28, 2011 3:38 pm
 

Rory makes wrong sort of waves at Irish Open

The man is a paid commentator and you want him to "shut up".  Brilliant.  



Since: Jun 24, 2008
Posted on: July 28, 2011 12:33 pm
 

Rory makes wrong sort of waves at Irish Open

Hear me ROAR e, ROAR e, ROAR e.



Since: Oct 8, 2006
Posted on: July 28, 2011 12:26 pm
 

Rory makes wrong sort of waves at Irish Open

Why do people like townsend try to make themselves part of the story.  They guy should shut the hell up and leave all golfers alone.  I am glad Rory is standing up for his employee...



Since: Oct 8, 2006
Posted on: July 28, 2011 12:25 pm
 

Rory makes wrong sort of waves at Irish Open

Why do people like townsend try to make themselves part of the story.  They guy should shut the hell up and leave all golfers alone.  I am glad Rory is standing up for his employee...


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