Rory McIlroy says that plenty of people have had an impact on his golf name but one, in particular, has had a bigger influence than others.
In an email interview with Golf.com's Michael Bamberger, McIlroy named Dr. Stephen McGregor as the man who has helped his career more than most.
McGregor has a PhD in physiology and is also a chartered physiotherapist.
I started working with Steve in October of 2010 because as a 21-year-old who had never thought much about taking care of my body, I had back problems and was way too young for that. If I hadn’t sought Steve’s help and expertise I’m not sure where I would be today.
I have a degenerative L4/L5 lumber disc because I’ve been swinging a golf club since I was two years old. That’s millions of swings over time, and that takes its toll. Steve put me on a stability program for our first six months, as I’m hyper-mobile. Basically, he was preparing my joints and neural system for increased load down the line. Six and a half years later and I’m happy to say apart from a few little niggles here and there, from the rigours of travel and playing and practicing week in and week out, I’m relatively trouble-free. That’s from Steve putting programs together so I can practice and play for as long as I want. He’s also educated me on a lot of aspects of the anatomy so I have a better understanding of what my body is doing during the golf swing.
Eight months after he began working with McGregor, McIlroy won his first Major - the 2011 US Open at Congressional. He's gone on to win three more Majors since then and it sounds like his work with McGregor has ensured that his body will be capable of winning many more.
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