Body language expert: Rory McIlroy's body language appeared quite childish

Body language experts, psychologists, and golf experts analyzed his body language, concluding what Rory might have been thinking after US Open loss.

by Sead Dedovic
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Body language expert: Rory McIlroy's body language appeared quite childish
© Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images Sport

Rory McIlroy failed to clinch victory at the US Open and had to settle for second place. Northern Irishman hadn't been so close to another Major victory in a long time (after ten years), but huge mistakes opened the door for DeChambeau to win. In the end, the 35-year-old golfer fell short by one stroke. 

McIlroy bogeyed three out of his last four holes, which is unusual for a golfer of his caliber. He also missed two putts from close range, a rare occurrence for him. It's clear that pressure got to him and disrupted the Northern Irishmen's plans.

What shocked many was that Rory McIlroy left the golf course after the match and headed in another direction. He neither congratulated his opponent nor made any statements, visibly disappointed. Interestingly, the 35-year-old golfer was in the scorer's room, watching his rival's performance and his putt. 

McIlroy's face showed he was irritated, frustrated, and disappointed. A range of negative emotions was evident on his face. 

Body language experts, psychologists, and golf experts analyzed his body language, concluding what Rory might have been thinking in those moments. Judi James, a body language expert, analyzed his gestures and stance in an interview with Mirror Sports, suggesting he wanted to openly show his disappointment.

"The body language performance here looks quite childlike, almost mimicking a child with a brewing sulk.

As McIlroy watches the TV he almost announces a state of defeat from his slumped shoulders, glum mouth expression and the way his cap is pushed back on his head. His hands are on his lower back but then comes a rather dramatic re-positioning when he brings them round to plonk them around his waist, seeming to want to let everyone know how he is feeling in the moment."- James said, as quoted by Mirror.

Rory McIlroy
Rory McIlroy© Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images Sport
 

She described his body language in detail and speculated on what it could have meant in those moments. The fact that Rory admitted the day after the match that it was one of the hardest moments in his career speaks volumes. It's unlikely that McIlroy was thinking rationally at that time or considering what others might think of him. When you dream for years of lifting another Major trophy and then experience a lack of luck like never before, it's hard to describe how difficult that moment is to accept. Rory admitted that he will need some time to recover.


"His elbows are out but this is not a resilient, alpha splaying gesture or any sign of anger. His shoulders remain slumped to show he's dispirited here and when he turns to walk away he keeps his hands on his waist as he circles."- she continued.

Northern Irishman will have to think about how to recover from all of this and focus on future challenges. It's hard to expect him to shine in the near future, given that such defeats can linger for years. Golf experts emphasize that the only way for Rory to forget such a loss is to lift the same trophy in the future. 

The question arises: What is the main obstacle for Rory at this moment, and what is the reason he, at 35 years old, fails to do things he once did? Clearly, there is a mental barrier due to pressure and high expectations. It's incredible what pressure can do to even experienced golfers, let alone someone who is still building their career.

Rory McIlroy and his statement after US Open loss: The toughest day 

As we have already mentioned, the 35-year-old golfer admitted via social media that he had one of the toughest days in his career. Northern Irishmen emerged on the golf scene as one of the greatest talents, someone who could break all records in the future. Although many consider him, along with Scheffler, to be the most complete golfer, the fact is that Rory is not succeeding in his goals. The best approach for him could be to lower his expectations, not think about trophies, and enter each tournament completely relaxed. Of course, it's easy to say this, but it is inevitable that Rory must work on his mindset.

“Yesterday was a tough day, probably the toughest I’ve had in my nearly 17 years as a professional golfer. Firstly, I’d like to congratulate Bryson. He is a worthy champion and exactly what professional golf needs right now. I think we can all agree on that,” McIlroy posted to his social media account.

We have no doubt that we will receive more statements from Rory in the coming days, after the impressions of everything have settled.

Rory Mcilroy Us Open
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