What Does Gary Player Know About Rory McIlroy?

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rory mcilroy and caroline wozniackiOver the past week the golf word has been abuzz regarding some rather blunt opinions shared by pro golf legend Gary Player directed at Rory McIlroy. According to Player, McIlroy would be best served to find "the right wife" who will make the sacrifices "required" to allow McIlroy to become a legend in this game.

“When you're in love as a young man naturally golf seems to take second place for a while. It's natural," Player admitted. "Love is still the greatest thing that ever happens in our lives.

"But the thing is for a man like Rory with talent galore he's got to make sure he has a woman like I've got, who has been married [to me] for 56 years, that has only encouraged me to do well and made sacrifices. He's got to be intelligent and find the right wife. If he finds the right wife, if he practices and if he's dedicated, he could be the man.”

As we all know, the Northern Irish golf phenom has been in a long-term relationship with professional tennis player Caroline Wozniacki. Based on his comments, it would seem that Player is insinuating that Wozniacki is not the proper potential wife for Rory McIlroy. Otherwise Player wouldn't have said what he said.

There is no question that ever since the couple made their relationship public in 2011, golf and tennis fans alike have attributed Rory and Caroline's lackluster play to being more focused on kissing and cuddling than putting and serving. At that time McIlroy was ranked No. 3 in the world (which he is now, as well) and Wozniacki was on her way to a No. 1 ranking (she attained that prestige in 2012). Wozniacki is now ranked No. 10 in the world.

Comparatively, yes; both athletes have stumbled a bit down their respective world ranking lists recently. However, should we be so bold as to suggest that their romantic relationship is the cause of their decline? Gary Player certainly seems to think so.

Other players from yesteryear -- like Johnny Miller, who also offered his opinion on the youngsters' relationship, because... well, he probably couldn't help himself -- have also suggested that Rory McIlroy is more prone to picking flowers for Caroline than winning golf tournaments.

The truth of the whole matter, folks, is that none of us know anything about Rory McIlroy and Caroline's relationship. Zero. Ziltch. Nada.

In fact, one of the only things we do know about them is that every time Rory and Caroline are together, they are smiling, hugging, and appear to be having the time of their lives. Yes; I understand sports stars put their best face forward for the camera, but these two absolutely seem genuine.

When fans of any sport see greatness on their television or in real life, those fans never want it to end. Rory McIlroy became the "Next Big Thing" after Tiger Woods, having already won two majors in his young career. As soon as McIlroy started to play poorly, golf fans immediately blamed his girlfriend for distracting him. It was as if McIlroy suddenly stopped providing a product or service to fans everywhere despite doing something that he absolutely has every right to do: start a relationship.

Are we so selfish to actually believe that Rory owes us anything? Or can we actually be happy that he may have found something much greater than playing a game every week?