Graeme McDowell: Rory McIlroy's problems are technical

Last Updated: 02/03/13 3:43pm

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Graeme McDowell (right): Insits World No 1 will overcome his difficulties

Graeme McDowell (right): Insits World No 1 will overcome his difficulties

Sky Bet

Rory McIlroy's problems are technical, rather than a result of his new Nike clubs, according to fellow-Northern Irishman Graeme McDowell.

McIlroy withdrew from the Honda Classic on Friday, eight holes into the second round, telling reporters that he was in a "bad place mentally."

He later issued a statement in which he blamed toothache.

Since the twice major winner switched clubs from Titleist to Nike in January, in a deal reported to be worth as much as $250 million over 10 years, there has been speculation about whether he has been badly affected by the move.

McDowell told Irishgolfdesk.com that too much is being made of his countryman's equipment change, and that the world No 1 needs to address his technical deficiencies.

"Everyone is saying he can't do it with Nike equipment. This game is an extremely difficult sport, especially when you start playing for other people," he said.

"To me it is not equipment, it is all technique and a little bit of belief inside his own head. He will be okay. He's a young and very talented individual.

"To me he is not swinging the club the way he was late summer last year. His familiar right to left ball flight has gone to a little bit of a cut shot. He doesn't have that flight we are all used to seeing.

"We've had some time off. He's rusty. I know where he is at. (But) he is a superstar, a global superstar at that it can only be pressure magnified. He will get over it. He is a smart kid.

"He is one of the most talented players I have ever seen and once he starts believing in himself again he will be back."

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