'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
Elliott Heath

Elliott Heath is our Senior Staff Writer and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016. He graduated in Sports Journalism in 2016 and currently manages the Golf Monthly news, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. Elliott has interviewed some huge names in the golf world including Sergio Garcia, Thomas Bjorn, Bernd Wiesberger and Scotty Cameron as well as a number of professionals on the DP World and PGA Tours. He has also covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as three Open Championships including at Carnoustie in 2018 when he was inside the ropes with Tiger Woods. He has played 31 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Old Head and Alwoodley. He currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 4-6. His golfing highlight is making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, and he has made one hole-in-one.

Elliott is currently playing:

Driver: Honma TR20

3 wood: TaylorMade SIM2 Max

2 iron: Mizuno MP-18 MMC Fli-Hi

Irons: Mizuno MP5 4-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x