THE SECOND DAY of the Irish Open at Killarney is under way this morning. But it’s events off course that are dominating the headlines.
US Open champion Rory McIlroy lashed out on Twitter after a golf commentator Jay Townsend criticised his first-round performance in Kerry yesterday.
Townswend, an American who is best known for his work with the BBC, wrote on the site: “McIlroy’s course management was shocking. Some of the worst course management I have ever seen beyond under-10 boys’ golf competition.”
McIlroy, whose caddy JP Fitzgerald took some slack after the player’s final-round Augusta collapse, responded angrily:
Afterwards the Holywood man wrote: “Well, I stand by my caddie” McIlroy added. Townswend – who is also in Killarney for the weekend – wrote:
“Sorry, but I stand by my comments,” Townsend replied.
In the wake of the public spat, influential commentator Erik Kuselias weighed in on the influential Golf Channel – calling the Irishman a ‘spoilt brat’.
“This is a kid on the fast track to likeability but this was not a likeable tweet,” he told the channel’s millions of viewers,
“He comes across as a spoiled brat who thinks he is entitled and it doesn’t make you want to root for him. It was childish and immature, a dumb thing said by a kid who we probably anointed too quickly as the new face of golf.”
Kuselias added that he expects McIlroy to apologise to Townsend this morning. But McIlroy explained later that this latest ‘dig’ was the latest in a three-year campaign by Townsend.
“It’s the first time I’ve responded, it was the straw that broke the camel’s back,” he said.
So what do you think? Should Rory apologise for his comments?