Gary Player sticks nose in Rory row

2016 02 Getty Images 508686520
• Gary Player tells Rory McIlroy to 'keep squatting'
• Four-time major winner was criticised by Brandel Chamblee
• McIlroy is playing the Northern Trust Open this week


Nine-time major winner Gary Player has backed Rory McIlroy to ‘keep lifting’ after the Northern Irishman drew criticism from Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee for his ‘extensive’ gym work.

Chamblee said he was concerned by the amount of time the four-time major winner was spending working out, fearing that his career could follow the path of Tiger Woods, who has been crippled by injury in recent years.

But Player, 80, who claims to still do 1,300 sit-ups every morning at 5am, totally dismissed Chamblee’s comments.

“If you are not taking exercise seriously, you will simply get left behind,” the South African said on Twitter, before sending McIlroy this.

McIlroy responded, saying: “Thank you Mr Player! Following your fine example,” which came shortly after he was asked about his fitness ahead of the Northern Trust Open, where he revealed that he started taking gym work seriously after developing back issues.

“The end of 2010 is when it started because I had back problems as a 19-20-year-old,” he explained. “Having back problems isn't what you want at the start of your career, and you don't want to have to keep managing that for the rest of your career.


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“I realised that this isn't going to get any better unless I start to take care of myself better. So getting in the gym, eating better, and I think from the start of 2011, the direct correlation between leading a healthier lifestyle and my performance on the course was the same. I won my first major in 2011. I got to the best world ranking I had ever been in 2011, and then it just continued from there.”

And in response to a question asked if he’d done any squats that day, he replied jokingly: “Not yet. I’m planning to though. Maybe with Brandel on my back!”

Rory McIlroy :: Fitness

Do you see any issues with McIlroy’s weightlifting? Or does his success since he started taking gym work seriously speak volumes? Leave your thoughts in the ‘Comments’ section below.

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