It was confusing weekend for Rory McIlroy at the US PGA Championship. A T-7 place felt flattering on one level considering his recent struggles but the Co. Down man played enough good golf at Oak Hill to make it seem like he should be winning majors.
Partnered with the beloved Michael Block, McIlroy started the final round of the PGA Championship on one under which was five shots behind leader Brooks Koepka.
McIlroy got off to the perfect start by having a birdie on the first hole but then followed it up with two bogeys on hole two and four. He bounced backed to one under with a birdie on the sixth hole which was set up by a fantastic second shot.
Every time McIlroy got a birdie it was followed up by a bogey on the next hole and this continued as he had a bogey on the difficult seventh hole. The Northern Irish man finished the front nine in style as he dispatched a medium range putt for birdie on the ninth to shoot a even par front nine.
Brooks Koepka dropped a couple of shots on the front nine which gave McIlroy hope as he started his back nine.
The tenth hole at Oak Hill was a par four that players could reduce to a drive and a short second shot which McIlroy took advantage of as he started the back nine with a birdie. The 11th hole at Oak Hill was an extremely tough 248 yard par three and McIlroy settled for par after his birdie putt broke left at the hole.
McIlroy capitalised on his length as he only had 50 yards for his third shot on the par five 13th and went to three under after getting it up & down for birdie. The 14th at Oak Hill was a reachable short par four and McIlroy came up short of the green after mishitting his tee shot. He hit a good chip but failed to hole a short range putt for birdie.
McIlroy was all set for a top five finish with four to go until he pushed his tee shot at the par three 15th. It was a tough to see how McIlroy could get a par on this hole and failed to do so as he ended up with a bogey. McIlroy played the last three holes in level par to finish on two under. McIlroy sums up his week at Oak Hill as his nine year major drought continues. “I feel sort of close but also so far away at the same time”.
McIlroy will play his next event at The Memorial then the Canadian Open in the lead-up to the US Open. “It just doesn't feel quite where it needs to be, again just need to go back home and work on some stuff”.
McIlroy received a check of $550,000 for finishing tied seventh at Oak Hill. “if I think back to myself on Wednesday, say, just before the tournament started, someone said, "You're going to finish T-7 this week," I would say, actually, that's probably not a bad week for me with how I'm feeling about everything”.