Jack Nicklaus offered an unsolicited advice to Rory Mcllroy, new US Open champion and the youngest so far in the last 23 years, to handle his celebrity status properly in order to become a golfing great.
The 22-year old Mcllroy achieved several records when he won his first major Sunday with an eight-shot margin, another record-breaker.
Nicklaus, who won the first of his 18 major titles when he was five months younger than Mcllroy no, said “If he wants to be a great golfer, he needs to learn how to deal with it.”
Mcllroy, who is now the world golf’s Number four player, produced a total score four better than the previous mark recorded at 16-under par. He was also the quickest of all the players to reach 10 under after 26 holes.
Nicklaus, who won the US Open four times between 1962 and 1980, said on his official website: “He will be and already is a celebrity, but he is a golfer first.
“In this day and age, it’s very difficult. He needs to make certain golf is the first thing, as well as his motivation and desire to be great.
“My motivation was that I wanted to be the best I could be in the sport, and once I got close to Bob Jones’s record, that became a motivation.
“I think Rory has got his head screwed on pretty well and I think he’ll keep it there. It was obviously an unbelievable performance.”
Englishman Tony Jacklin who won the US Open in 1970 with a seven shots, said things will certainly change for Mcllroy.
“Life as he knew it has ended. He has such a great way about him and great technique,” said Jacklin.
“But whether he will break records depends on how he organises his life quite frankly. Stability of your family life is so important.
“Rory is clearly good enough to win many more, but you can’t do it without a plan.
“How do you get away from the attention when you don’t want it? Everybody needs down-time and it’s harder living in the UK or Ireland.
“You need people around you can trust and he has plenty of examples of what to do and how to organise.”
Mcllroy has opted to spend time with his family after his first major victory by pulling out of the French Open scheduled next week.