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Rory McIlroy is jacked. We have seen his physique on multiple magazines over the last few years, and we saw it live two years ago at the Ryder Cup. He is probably the most fit golfer on the planet.

It has become clear he prides himself on staying fi,t too. After Brandel Chamblee of Golf Channel fired a shot at McIlroy at the Northern Trust Open earlier this year, McIlroy tweeted this video at him.

And on Monday, after torching the field in the final round at the Deutsche Bank Championship, McIlroy went back in on Chamblee, Johnny Miller and others who have had criticism about his weight room habits.

“I don’t know if any criticism is unfair,” McIlroy said on Monday. “I think when people make judgments or criticisms without being educated on the subject … like me getting in the gym, for example. That’s my pet peeve, someone who says to me: ‘You’re in the gym too much.’

“The reason I play at such a high level and hopefully will continue to play at a high level for the next 10, 15 years is because of the work I did in the gym. If I wasn’t in the gym, I wouldn’t be sitting here today. It’s a big part of who I am, it’s a big part of my success. That, I always feel, is an unfair criticism.”

He continued: “But with my game, the critics and the analysts, and everyone out there, they’re educated about golf so they for the most part know what they’re talking about. A criticism of my game, I take it, and I know what I need to work on and sometimes those people point out the obvious. But I would say the most unfair criticism I receive is what I do in the gym.”

Maybe the criticism is unfair, but McIlroy also won a lot before he got in the gym. Back when he was, uh, heavier Rory. When he was a kid, before the Nike stuff and the gym sessions, he won a lot.

It’s tough not to side with him here, though. I usually presume the man who has four majors and is one of the three players on the PGA Tour in the last 30 years to 12 wins before turning 28 knows what he’s doing. And if banging around in the gym is what he feels is best, who am I to argue?

The criticism, I suppose, is the following question: “Are we getting the most we can possibly get from Rory McIlroy?” This is why people are critical of Tiger Woods. He won 14 majors, sure, but people think he could have won so many more and that part of the reason he didn’t is because he lifted too much.

I’m not sure the same is true of McIlroy. He seems to have a better plan than Woods maybe did at the beginning of this century. His lifting seems to be more geared towards being fit for the course. He’s also the best driver of the golf ball in history.

It’s also tough to argue with a man who says your criticism is fair when most athletes are saying the opposite. With this statement McIlroy has de-weaponized those of us who might throw stones. He’d probably just pick them up and throw them back harder anyway.


Source: CBS Sports Headlines / Rory McIlroy is really not a fan of his ‘unfair’ gym critics