'He Just Doesn’t Trust It Enough' - Nick Faldo On Rory McIlroy Struggles

Sir Nick Faldo was discussing the four-time Major winner's game and, in particular, his short iron and wedge play

Sir Nick Faldo and Rory McIlroy pictured
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Sir Nick Faldo says Rory McIlroy doesn't trust his short irons enough to score well enough around Augusta National as the Northern Irishman's Major struggles appear to continue.

McIlroy shot a one-over-par 73 on day one at The Masters and found himself at four-over and seven off the lead after a double bogey at the 11th hole in round two. Faldo was discussing the four-time Major winner's iron and wedge game on Sky Sports with Nick Dougherty, saying he regularly hits a great drive before making "a mess of a short iron."

"The tough thing for Rory is that he drives so beautifully and then makes a mess of a short iron and it’s deflating him," Faldo said on Sky Sports. "I’ve been talking about this for a couple of years now. You watch how many times he stands with a wedge in his hand and he hits it to 50 feet and then he might three-putt it after. Nine out of ten other guys are hitting it inside 15 feet and popping it in the putt.  

"There’s got to be a reason for something. Technically, his hip action and his pelvic line through impact affects him. He gets stuck underneath it - we can see it get stuck underneath and the ball goes high and right. And then he loses his trust with it.

"Last year he came to 16 with that pin on the front and the water left and in your mind you’re like, ‘don’t hit it left’. Sure, you’re allowed to say that but you’ve got to deal with it. ‘OK, I know I’m not going to hit it left because I can do this’. You can see on his face, ‘don’t hit it left’, and then he hits it left. 

"And that goes right through you at this level. So he’s just constantly knocking himself down because he just doesn’t trust it enough. He’s got to find the trust from 8-iron and in. When you drive it that well that’s all you should be working on, just how to hit perfect little fades or little draws for safety, whatever it is."

McIlroy's last Major title came at the 2014 PGA Championship at Valhalla just two starts after his Open Championship triumph at Royal Liverpool. He currently sits 9th in the Official World Golf Ranking.

Video: Things You Didn't Know About Rory McIlroy

Elliott Heath
News Editor

Elliott Heath is our News Editor and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news, features, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as four Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. His first Open was in 2017 at Royal Birkdale, when he walked inside the ropes with Jordan Spieth during the Texan's memorable Claret Jug triumph. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Western Gailes, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 2-5. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!

Elliott is currently playing:

Driver: Titleist TSR4

3 wood: Titleist TSi2 HL

Irons: Mizuno MP-H4 3-iron, Mizuno MP5 4-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5