Rory McIlroy: the ‘normal’ champion struggles through his famine years

Ireland’s greatest golfer hasn’t won a major tournament in eight years, and the strain is beginning to show

Rory McIlroy: ‘It’s been a long eight years. I’ve had chances and I’ve come close but I just haven’t gotten over the line.’ Illustration: Peter Hanan

In May last year, Rory McIlroy — who rarely walks on to the thick green sward of a golf course without journalists trailing behind him — was ambling around the Southern Hills Country Club in Oklahoma.

The club was hosting the PGA Championship, one of the four ‘major’ tournaments in men’s golf.

McIlroy won the tournament in 2014, a stroke ahead of Phil Mickelson, for one of his four major wins in a glittering career. ...