Rory McIlroy opens up about the disappointment of the PGA Championship

Rory McIlroy hits a bullet Sunday at the 9th hole in the South Hills.

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This week, Rory McIlroy was asked what advice he gives youngsters, and he repeated one word seven times.

“I say enjoy.”

“It’s not really about how far you go, there’s all that kind of thing that matters, but I think it’s just about having fun.”

“Fun is the most important aspect, and I have to tell myself that sometimes.”

“Why did I start playing this game? Why did I start playing golf? That’s because I loved it because I enjoy it.”

“They have to remember to have a good time.”

“Bird making is fun. This is my fun on the golf course.”

Rory McIlroy standing

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cheerful. It’s good advice. Who wouldn’t want to have it? And it’s a good place to start as we hear from McIlroy, one week into the PGA Championship that started with him leading and answering one question, and ended with him extending nearly eight years of drought and leaving Southern Hills without a word being said. .

Thursday was fun. Kinda fun 65. Quite fun from the first round. But that was probably the most fun – it wasn’t Not cheerful. As Dylan Diether of the golf team summarized here, McIlroy has recently been buried by a tendency to dig himself in the first rounds of the majors, only to get himself out. Perhaps no more so than in the Masters—McIlroy opened with a 73, then went 73, 71 and, unforgettable, 64 to move up to second.

In the PGA, though, the second and third rounds just became the new first, and McIlroy is still less important since his 2014 PGA win. On Friday in Southern Hills, he shot once when his afternoon wave was registering, and on Saturday, under cold conditions, he was three shots worse. During Sunday’s final round, there were four birds in a row at the start of the match, then played twice from there, finished eighth and left by eliminating the reporters.

So where does all this leave him? Technically, it’s in the same place – search – and that’s why we’re talking here today. Then again, this year, he lost to seven golfers in the major tournaments, and you could say he’s at least found Something.

Rory McIlroy at the PGA Championship.

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McIlroy is aware of both ideas. In an interview this week promoting GolfNow Compete, his first since the PGA, he was asked his “regrets” and “pros” of the week, and McIlroy listed several of each.

“Regret. Yes, I regret that I didn’t take advantage of the benign conditions on Friday afternoon. I’m sorry for the big numbers I had in the Tri-Leagues on Saturday, the fact that I only needed to play the last 12 holes in one game to play a playoff on Sunday, and I didn’t.” “So, yeah, I definitely feel like he’d run away. But then again, I have to address the positives and the fact that if 8th major is totally the worst — and that’s a very different story than I was in my first two majors last year in ’21. I missed it. The cut in Augusta, I finished 50th in the PGA.This year is a different story.

“This year is a lot more positive. My golf is in a much better place, and I think at this point I have to be as patient as possible. I know that if I keep playing the golf that I play, chances will arise and I will give myself more chances this year not just to win major tournaments. , but to win golf tournaments in general. So that’s the exciting thing, but yes, last week was definitely disappointing, but I still have a lot to look forward to this year.”

According to the majors schedule, the US Open, at the Country Club in Brooklyn, Massachusetts, will be next, followed by the Open in St Andrews, and we’ll all be watching the usual suspects. In the PGA, McIlroy was 5th (good!) in strokes earned: Off the Tee and Tee to Green, 15th in SG: Approach (not bad!), 50th in SG: About green (hmm) and 43rd in SG : put (they are again).

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Then again, McIlroy and the kids told us what was the most important thing. Apparently, he wasn’t saying “enjoy” just for fun.

“I think there’s a lot to be positive about,” McIlroy said. “Like I said, where my golf is now compared to what it was last year, it’s miles ahead of that. The fact that I was tied for the lead at the US Open last year with nine holes to play, three of the last four majors had real chances. Decent to win it or have really good endings, so, that’s a huge positive.

“I feel the consistency is back in golf that wasn’t already there. I feel this year is very similar to 2019 when I had one of my best years ever. I’ve won four times, been the PGA Tour player of the year. All my stats, all my numbers Very similar to that year, just without the win. So, I think if I can be patient, those wins will come, and if I keep giving myself chances and keep knocking on the door, I hope good things will happen.”

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Nick Piastovsky

Nick Piastovsky

Golf.com Editor
Nick Piastovsky is a senior editor at Golf.com and Golf Magazine. In his role, he is responsible for editing, writing and developing stories across the golf space. And when he’s not writing about ways to hit the golf ball farther and straighter, the Milwaukee native will probably play the game, hitting the ball left, right and short, and drinking a cold beer to wash down his score. You can reach him about any of these topics – his stories, his game, or his beer – at nick.piastowski@golf.com.

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