Jack Nicklaus expects Rory McIlroy to bounce back to form in time for Augusta
Last Updated: 04/03/13 2:12pm
Rory McIlroy: The world No1 has endured a tough time of it since an equipment switch
Jack Nicklaus feels Rory McIlroy is a "little frustrated" with his current form - but believes the world No1 will find form by the time the Masters comes around.
McIlroy's difficult start to the year continued at this week's Honda Classic, with the Northern Irishman pulling out during his second round after being seven over through eight holes.
"He's probably not playing at his best, and he also has a set of golf clubs he's having trouble getting used to. One plays off against the other."
He later released a statement on Friday citing a sore wisdom tooth as the reason behind his decision to walk off the course midway through the defence of the title he won in 2012.
McIlroy had already missed the cut in Abu Dhabi this year before then crashing out in the first round of the WGC-Accenture Match Play, with his struggles coming after a much-publicised equipment switch to Nike.
However Nicklaus insists the 23-year-old is talented enough to get things together by the time the first major of the season takes place at Augusta.
"I don't really know what's happened and I haven't talked to Rory (since)," the 18-time major winner said during coverage of the final round of the Honda Classic in Florida.
"I talked to him on Monday prior to the tournament and he told me he was struggling. He said he was driving the ball well but was struggling a little bit with his irons, but he felt confident out there.
"I said 'don't worry about it. The clubs won't make that much of a difference'.
Toothache ends McIlroy round
"Maybe the guys today are so used to having one thing, but I always feel like it's your talent that plays the golf clubs.
"Rory is so talented, he's a good kid. I think he's a little frustrated right now.
"He's probably not playing at his best, and he also has a set of golf clubs he's having trouble getting used to. One plays off against the other.
"He'll be fine. When Augusta rolls around, he'll be fine."