Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

Rory McIlroy issues stress-related illness warning

updated 9:57 AM EST, Wed November 27, 2013
Golfer Rory McIlroy expects more sports stars to succumb to stress-related illnesses.
Golfer Rory McIlroy expects more sports stars to succumb to stress-related illnesses.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Rory McIlroy says pressure in sports is leading to increase in stress-relates illnesses
  • England cricketer Jonathan Trott left the Ashes series this week citing a stress-related illness
  • McIlroy says it shows the mental toll sport can take on athletes
  • The Northern Irishman was speaking ahead of this week's Australian Open in Sydney

(CNN) -- Rory McIlroy is well versed to talk about the pressures the modern day sport star faces.

As a former world No.1 golfer and one half of a sporting super couple -- with tennis ace Caroline Wozniacki -- the Northern Irishman knows all about living in the full glare of the media spotlight.

So perhaps it is not surprising that the two-time major winner has warned that as the global interest in sport increases, so will players have to deal with the type of stress-related illness that prompted England cricketer Jonathan Trott to pull out of the Ashes tour.

Trott's decision to come home from Australia has prompted a debate about the relentless schedule of many sports and the support on offer to players if they succumb to mental health issues.

Garcia sorry for 'fried chicken' slur
Tiger Woods' nickname: Urkel?

"It's sad to see something like that happen and it just shows what a mental toll sport can take on you sometimes," McIlroy told reporters at Royal Sydney, ahead of this week's Australian Open as he talked about Trott's decision to leave the tour.

"Hopefully he gets home and spends some time with his family and recovers and can come back.

"As sport becomes so big and there's so much pressure and so much on the line, it's becoming more and more common that these sorts of stress-related illnesses are happening and it just shows how much of a mental toll it takes on you sometimes."

The rivalry between the England and Australia cricket teams is one of the oldest and fiercest in world sport, with the players often exchanging insults on the pitch -- a practice known as "sledging."

The sledging in the current series, which Australia lead 1-0 after winning the first Test match in Melbourne, saw Australia captain Michael Clarke fined for a barb aimed at England bowler James Anderson.

Read: Tears of joy for World Cup winner Day

"I think the sledging this year has probably been a bit worse than other years as well," said McIlroy. "It looks like they're just having a go at each other after every ball ... it would be really tough to take that for however long you're out there for.

It's official -- double major winner Rory McIlroy and former world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki are no more. McIlroy says he realized he wasn't ready for marriage when their wedding invitations were mailed out. When it comes to sport, the path of true love rarely runs smooth and in this gallery, CNN looks at sporting couples who have aced their relationships and those who have seen their private lives hit the rough. It's official -- double major winner Rory McIlroy and former world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki are no more. McIlroy says he realized he wasn't ready for marriage when their wedding invitations were mailed out. When it comes to sport, the path of true love rarely runs smooth and in this gallery, CNN looks at sporting couples who have aced their relationships and those who have seen their private lives hit the rough.
'Wozilroy' split
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
>
>>
Courting romance: Ups and downs of tennis love affairs Courting romance: Ups and downs of tennis love affairs
It's official, selfie is the global word of 2013 according to the Oxford Dictionaries. The global craze for taking photos of yourself at every available opportunity continues unabated, and sports stars are no exception. So is this the ultimate sporting selfie? Champion skier Lindsey Vonn uploaded this snap of herself with boyfriend Tiger Woods -- the world's No. 1 golfer -- at October's Presidents Cup. It's official, selfie is the global word of 2013 according to the Oxford Dictionaries. The global craze for taking photos of yourself at every available opportunity continues unabated, and sports stars are no exception. So is this the ultimate sporting selfie? Champion skier Lindsey Vonn uploaded this snap of herself with boyfriend Tiger Woods -- the world's No. 1 golfer -- at October's Presidents Cup.
Sporting selfies
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
>
>>
Sporting selfies Sporting selfies

"They seem to really get at each other's throat whenever they're in there."

For McIlroy, 2013 has been a frustrating year.

Since switching to playing with Nike clubs, he has struggled to recapture the form which saw him win four PGA Tour and two European Tour events in 2012 as well as the PGA Championship.

"It's been a long year, I guess mentally more than physically," said the world No. 6.

"Physically, golf doesn't take that much out of you but mentally it's quite draining, especially this year for me, not just the golf and being frustrated with my game but having to answer the questions and having to come up with reasons why I'm not playing well and all that stuff."

McIlroy will hope to end the year with a win, but he is up against a strong field in Sydney featuring world No. 2 and home-crowd favorite Adam Scott.

"I've said for the last couple of months I just wanted to try and finish this season strongly and get some momentum to go into 2014," added the 24-year-old McIlroy.

"This would be the perfect place to get that first win of the year and give me a sort of springboard into the next season."

Read: Sergio Garcia learned from 'horrible' Woods slur

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 8:51 AM EDT, Fri September 12, 2014
It's a big dilemma: Be with your wife for the birth of your first child, or stay at work and try to earn $11 million. For Billy Horschel, it's a no-brainer.
updated 7:40 AM EDT, Fri September 12, 2014
She's just 19 but Hyo Joo Kim is already showing she's ready for the big time after recording the lowest ever round at a major championship.
updated 1:06 PM EDT, Wed September 10, 2014
Masters champion Bubba Watson says winning the $10 million FedEx Cup jackpot would bring forward his retirement from the game.
updated 7:31 AM EDT, Fri September 12, 2014
EVIAN-LES-BAINS, FRANCE - SEPTEMBER 15: A view of the 14th green during the third round of The Evian Championship at the Evian Resort Golf Club on September 15, 2013 in Evian-les-Bains, France. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
The world's top women golfers will be chasing a $3.25 million prize purse at one of the most stunning courses on the LPGA Tour.
updated 8:19 AM EDT, Wed September 3, 2014
Tom Watson selects Keegan Bradley, Hunter Mahan and Webb Simpson as his wildcard picks for the Ryder Cup contest with Europe.
updated 9:52 AM EDT, Tue September 2, 2014
Ian Poulter kept Europe clinging on in their Ryder Cup battle with the United States in Chicago.
Ian Poulter, who has constantly haunted the U.S. in Ryder Cup golf, is back after being chosen as a wildcard by European captain Paul McGinley.
updated 11:40 AM EDT, Mon August 25, 2014
Tiger Woods has split with his longtime coach Sean Foley after not winning a major during their four-year tenure.
updated 7:05 AM EDT, Mon August 11, 2014
Success just keeps on coming for Rory McIlroy, but the world No. 1 is already targeting more titles following his second PGA Championship win.
updated 10:24 AM EDT, Fri August 8, 2014
From Seve's "spine-shivering" moment to Jack Nicklaus' "perfect explosion," David Cannon has captured many of golf's defining images.
updated 9:20 AM EDT, Thu August 7, 2014
They came home as casualties of war -- physically shattered and mentally broken. But golf is proving to be an unlikely salvation for U.S. veterans.
updated 8:31 AM EDT, Tue August 5, 2014
You are the one hitting the shots, but the man standing over your shoulder could hold the key to your golfing destiny.
updated 8:27 AM EDT, Mon July 21, 2014
PINEHURST, NC - JUNE 10: Rory McIlroy (R) of Northern Ireland talks with his dad Gerry McIlroy (L) during a practice round prior to the start of the 114th U.S. Open at Pinehurst Resort & Country Club, Course No. 2 on June 10, 2014 in Pinehurst, North Carolina. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
He has been there for all three of his son's major wins, but the latest triumph may well have been the sweetest yet for Rory McIlroy's father.
ADVERTISEMENT