• June 19, 2023
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McIlroy looks to Hoylake after coming up short in US Open

McIlroy looks to Hoylake after coming up short in US Open
Los Angeles (AFP) – Rory McIlroy’s countdown is on to the Open Championship, where he’ll try again to end a nine-year major title drought after a runner-up finish to Wyndham Clark at the US Open.

Far from discouraged after coming up one shot short at Los Angeles Country Club on Sunday, McIlroy said that countdown had begun “three minutes ago. “I’ll play Travelers next week, I’ll play the Scottish Open, but I’m focused on making sure that I’m ready to go for Liverpool,” he said.

McIlroy didn’t need a lot of time to process disappointment, since he believed there was little he could have done differently or better.

“The golf course was playing really tricky, and obviously the scores in the final few groups reflected that,” said McIlroy after the top three finishers all carded final rounds of even par 70. “All in all, I played a solid round of golf. That one wedge shot on 14, missed birdie putt on eight, really apart from that, I did everything else the way I wanted to.”

That wedge at the par-five 14th ended up embedded in the muddy face of a bunker and even after a free drop he wound up with a bogey.

“I feel like I didn’t time the shot perfectly,” McIlroy said.

The bogey ended a run of a dozen straight pars. That streak followed his lone birdie at the first, where he had a 30-foot look at eagle.

“I thought I did really well at executing my game plan, hitting a lot of fairways, hitting a lot of greens, again, what you should do at a US Open.

“If anything, I felt like over the last two days when the greens started to get quite crispy that my speed control was off a little bit, and I think that’s the reason I didn’t hole a lot of putts.

“I don’t think I was hitting bad putts, just hitting them with slightly the wrong speed. Some were coming up short, some were going a little long.”

It’s going to happen
McIlroy hasn’t won a major since 2014, when he won the Open Championship and the PGA Championship.

Since then he’s notched 14 PGA Tour victories and four victories in Europe and 18 top-10 finishes in major championships.

“The more I keep putting myself in these positions, sooner or later it’s going to happen for me,” McIlroy said.

“The last real two chances I’ve had at majors I feel like have been pretty similar performances, like St Andrews last year and then here. Not doing a lot wrong, but I didn’t make a birdie since the first hole today.”

McIlroy admitted that there was a part of him hoping Clark, playing behind him in the final group and seeking a first major title, might three-putt the 18th to send it to a playoff.

“You don’t want to wish bad on anyone,” he said, but added: “You’re rooting for one guy, and that guy is yourself at that point.

“Wyndham was pretty much rock solid all day, and that was a great two-putt at the last,” McIlroy said.

“I didn’t need to wait for the tap-in. As soon as he cozied it up there, I was like, OK, get through this, and then go home and regroup.”

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