Rory McIlroy ‘banned’ himself from Twitter following his online row with ex-USPGA Championship winner Steve Elkington.
Former world number one McIlroy was unable to retain his composure online after Elkington criticised him following his exit from the U.S. Open at Erin Hills.
McIlroy had carded a 78 in his opening round of the major before ending his second round on a high with a run of four birdies in the last six holes. Ultimately, though, McIlroy missed the cut by four shots.
Australian Elkington posted his thoughts on Twitter, suggesting McIlroy—a four-time major winner and the man who has just signed a huge 10-year endorsement and equipment deal with TaylorMade—was bored on the golf course at present.
Elkington wrote: “Rory is so bored playing golf…without Tiger [Woods] the threshold is prolly 4 majors with 100mill in bank.”
McIlroy was in no mood to have his credibility questioned and promptly responded, linking a picture of his Wikipedia page and his achievements in the game for good measure. “More like 200mil… not bad for a ”bored” 28 year old… plenty more where that came from,” he wrote on the social media site.
Elkington responded: “Yeah you right. You’re the 200mill guy. New [sic] you were a money guy Jack [Nicklaus] won 18 and never mentioned his total cash…It was 5 mill.”
But then McIlroy got personal. “That’s why Jack designed 100’s of golf courses… and it’s knew… mustn’t have taught grammar in the 50s….”
It was at this point McIlroy wished he hadn’t got involved in the spat, and has subsequently banned himself from using the social media channel—on which he has 3.15 million followers.
“I must have wrote that tweet and deleted it about five times before I actually sent it,” McIlroy admitted. “I sort of regret sending it at the end but I actually gave my wife, Erica, my phone and my Twitter and told her, ‘Change my password to something else and don’t tell me what it is’.
“So as of the time being, I’m off social media just because of that reason. I don’t need to read it. It’s stuff that shouldn’t get to you and sometimes it does.
“It is not what was said. It was who said it and anyone who has been in that environment should realise how hard golf is at times. That is the thing that got to me more than anything else.
“If it was written by a member of the media or something I could let it slide, because I can sort of say to myself, ‘They don’t really know how it is and they don’t know what you have to deal with’.
“But a former player that has won a major and been successful, that’s sort of why it got to me and that’s why I sort of retaliated a little bit.”
McIlroy has been struggling for form of late while attempting to get his golf club set up in order this year. Since finishing tied seventh in the Masters at Augusta in April, McIlroy has missed the cut in both the U.S. Open and Irish Open and finished T35 and T17 in the Players Championship and Travelers Championship respectively.