Sanitising Rory
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All has changed in Rory McIlroy's world.

Bump into his coach Michael Bannon as you walk along the corridors of the PGA National Resort, ask for a comment on how the Ulsterman's swing compares to 12 months ago and you are politely told go through his tour manager, who is standing six feet away.

Surreal and Pythonesque, it's the new regime, the battle for control.

Q&A style interviews with The National in the United Emirates ahead of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic and the PGA Tour website this week appear to have been put through the PR wringer with every reply carefully crafted by hand unknown.

When has McIlroy every replied to a question by using the word "Indeed"?

"PGATOUR.COM: Is there more of an awareness on your end in that respect [the question of whether he has become more guarded], because you have to limit certain things to achieve what you want?

A: To a certain degree, perhaps. I have to make decisions, with my team, to give myself the best chance to win tournaments. Indeed, that might be a change of location, equipment, or even planning of my schedule. Do sacrifices have to be made? Of course. It’s about golf, essentially, and winning."

His pre-tournament press conference ahead of the Honda Classic lasted just under 10 minutes because, we were told, he had to "get away" for some pressing engagement. Why the rush? Perhaps the fog delay had something to do with it but it gave the impression that he'd much rather have been somewhere else. 

Removed from the formality of the interview room, he still happily answered a few additional questions as he strode down the corridor, through the pro's shop and out to the same cark park where he made his hasty exit 12 months earlier. 

As he said on that trip down the corridor, he is more mature, less naive and more experienced now. He's more worldly. Who could blame him from taking steps to put up more barriers and insulate himself from the world.

And yet one can't help feeling that the efforts to sanitise and control McIlroy have removed a lot of his essence. 

In becoming a little more Tigeresque, something precious has been irrecovably lost, chewed up by the modern media machine and corporate necessity.