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A Scolding From JP Was The Catalyst For Rory McIlroy's Incredible Back 9 Comeback

A Scolding From JP Was The Catalyst For Rory McIlroy's Incredible Back 9 Comeback
By Michael McCarthy

Well, we might have been a little quick off the mark here.

In the first round of The Open at Royal Birkdale, Rory McIlroy did something that hasn't always been associated with him today, and turned around an horrendous round.

After a really poor front 9 of five bogeys and four pars, McIlroy turned at +5 and was basically out of the tournament, ten shots behind Jordan Speith at the top of the leaderboard.

His back 9 was a completely different story though.

He pulled a shot back on the 11th hole, even that left him tied for 109th place. He had steadied the slide by that stage though, and managed to birdie the only two par 5s on the course, the 15th and 17th hole. He then nailed a beauty putt for birdie on the 18th to send him to the hotel happy.

He's now just six shots off the lead heading into what promises to be a memorable day of weather tomorrow. Whether McIlroy gets the best of it or not will be crucial tomorrow with him on the other side of the draw to most of the early leaders.

Interesting, McIlroy speaking after the round suggested that it was a scolding from his caddy JP Fitzgerald that was the catalyst for his comeback.

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JP, he reminded me who I was, basically. He said, "You're Rory McIlroy, what the fuck are you doing?"

At that point I mumbled and said, "Whatever." But it did, it helped. It definitely helped. It kept me positive. So he did a great job.

Thankfully he's not had to do it too often. But, yeah, he's had to do it a few times. And he's never afraid to do that. And I feel today it helped a lot more than at other times because I needed something. It wasn't I couldn't look within myself. I was trying to look within myself. But JP kept me positive out there, so that was very much appreciated.

Dead right, JP!

SEE ALSO: Justin Thomas Played The Open Looking Like Someone At The Residents' Bar At 4AM

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