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Dissecting Rory McIlroy's Downbeat Post-PGA Remarks

Dissecting Rory McIlroy's Downbeat Post-PGA Remarks
By Eoin Harrington Updated
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For Rory McIlroy, the PGA Championship was a case of déja-vu, with a strong finish yet again leaving McIlroy with a sense of "what might have been."

The Northern Irish golfer made a steady start to the tournament, standing at even par entering moving day on Saturday. Three under-par 69s left him on -2 for the tournament and inside the top ten - but a distant seven strokes behind winner Brooks Koepka, who took a fifth major victory to surpass McIlroy in the all-time standings.

Despite a strong finish, McIlroy admitted himself in the immediate aftermath of his final round that he had left too much out on the course, telling Sky Sports that he felt he was close to that elusive fifth major, while also strangely feeling further away.

It's sadly too familiar a tale for the Holywood native, and his remarks to the Irish Independent earlier this week show that he recognises the weaknesses that have crept into his game at majors which he must iron out to return to the winners' table.

Rory McIlroy thinks PGA finish "glossed over the cracks"

It's undoubtedly been a tough few weeks for Rory McIlroy since his victory at the Dubai Desert Classic in January.

Entering the Masters as one of world golf's most in-form golfers, hopes were high that McIlroy could contend for glory at Augusta, before a disappointing opening to the tournament left him well out of contention entering the weekend.

There was an improvement for the PGA Championship last weekend, but it still only brought a T7 finish, and McIlroy is frustrated that his game remains "nowhere near" where he wants it to be.


Speaking to Brian Keogh of the Irish Independent early this week, McIlroy broke down where his frustrations lay after the PGA Championship at Oak Hill:

I took a few good steps, and you know, there was some disappointing in there as well. I just need to be better. I need to clean it up.

I feel even when I do the right things, I’m sort of taking one step forward, and then right at the next hole, I’m taking one step back. So I need to try to iron that out of my game a little bit.

The "up-and-down" element of McIlroy's game was in full flow on Sunday, with his front nine bringing three brilliant birdies, three pars, and three bogeys to leave him exactly where he started the day, while others moved ahead.

Even with McIlroy entering the final day on -1, it would have taken a massive swing for him to properly contend for the crown, and it is all too familiar after one too many cases in recent years of the four-time major winner being left with too much to do late in the weekend.

And McIlroy recognised as much in his chat with Keogh, saying that he felt his strong finish to the weeked had "glossed over the cracks," saying that he needed to push on to eliminate errors from his game:


You look at a T7 and you’re like, 'oh, you know, you had a good week.' But then, when you dig into it...it maybe makes the week look a little better than it was.

I know I need to work on things. I’m nowhere near as close as I want to be in my game and in terms of where I think my abilities are.

It’s just a matter of trying to get it right and work harder and just try to be better.

Rory McIlroy is more than capable of winning another major. After all, he has top ten finishes of five of the last six majors, and top three finishes at last year's Masters and Open Championship.

It's close, and it seems as though McIlroy recognises that once he can get some more consistency into his game, he will be even closer to winning his first major in nine years.

The next chance for McIlroy will be at next month's US Open, which takes place from June 15-18 at Los Angeles Country Club. Between now and then, he will take part in the Memorial Tournament in Ohio, as well as the Canadian Open - where he has come out on top in the last two stagings of the event.


The US Open was where McIlroy's first major triump came in 2011, and he will hope to be reinvigorated ahead of the event in Los Angeles next month.

SEE ALSO: The Irish Funeral Director Who Beat Tiger Woods

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