Rory plays down Donald comments

A self-effacing Rory McIlroy has offered his own opinion on Luke Donald’s comments regarding his talent.

A self-effacing Rory McIlroy has offered his own opinion on Luke Donald’s comments regarding his talent.

Donald made waves earlier in the week when he was quoted as saying that he believed McIlroy was a more naturally talented player than 14-time major champion Tiger Woods, a comment that he eventually set about clarifying on his twitter account, probably for fear of causing a major controversy.

“Rory has the most talent that I’ve ever played with. He’s young and he’s got a great future ahead of him and I see him winning lots of tournaments and lots of majors. I’m not surprised by the year he’s had. He probably has not won as much as he thought, but he’s got time for that,” Donald said on Wednesday.

Asked of he believed McIlroy had more talent that Woods, he added: “I believe so, yeah, just in pure talent. I know Tiger is very, very close and obviously I think Tiger’s work ethic has always been tremendous, and his mindset as well.

“I think his mindset is what separated himself from the field when he was really at the top of the game. But in terms of talent, I think Rory has more talent – [for him] the sky is the limit.”

His words soon made headlines all over the globe and, feeling he needed to clarify his earlier statement, he soon tweeted: “A few people aren’t understanding what I meant.

“The word talent and Rory to me means a free-flowing swing that makes everything look so easy.

“TW has always been the best at getting the ball in the hole when it mattered the most. That’s not just talent, that’s something else too.

“Talent can only take you so far, you need the right attitude (mindset) and application to perform at the highest level.

“(I’d) never try to disrespect Tiger in any way. He is still the greatest player I have played with.”

But what about McIlroy himself? What does he think of Donald’s comments?

“Look, it’s one thing to have talent, but it’s another to actually have the capability of turning that into something productive,” said McIlroy.

“I think what Luke was saying was maybe golf comes as easy to me as it does for Tiger. Tiger’s won 90 or whatever tournaments worldwide and 14 majors and that’s definitely more of a talent than five wins and whatever it is.

“Yeah, there are different types of talent. You could say some of Luke’s short game shots out there were unbelievable. He’s definitely got more talent than me around the greens. There are different types of talent. I think what he said was maybe taken a little bit out of context.”