Rory McIlroy opens up about disappointment at PGA Championship

Rory McIlroy hit the ninth hole at South Hills on Sunday.

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McIlroy was asked this week for his advice to juniors, and he repeated a word seven times.

“I say have fun.”

“It’s not about how far you hit, all those things are important, but I think it’s just about having fun.”

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

“Why did I start playing this game? Why did I start golfing? It’s because I love it, because I love it.”

“They have to remember to have fun.”

“It’s fun to birdie. That’s what I enjoy on the golf course.”

Rory McIlroy Stand

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pleasure. This is a good tip. Who doesn’t want to have it? As we’ve heard from McIlroy, it’s a good start, and a week later, a PGA Championship begins, he’s leading and answering a question, and he ends up extending a nearly eight-year drought, in a word He left Nanshan without any notice.

Thursday is fun. 65 is pretty interesting. The first-round lead is interesting.But this is perhaps the most enjoyable – it’s not no pleasure. As GOLF’s Dylan Dethier summarizes here, McIlroy has recently been buried under a trend of digging holes in the first round of majors, just to dig himself out. Perhaps even more so at the Masters — McIlroy opened with a 73, then shot 73, 71 and a memorable 64 all the way to second.

On the PGA, though, the second and third rounds just became the new first rounds, and McIlroy still hasn’t had a major since his 2014 PGA win. On Friday at Nanshan, he hit one shot in an afternoon wave of scoring, and on Saturday, in cooler conditions, he was three shots behind. In the final round on Sunday, four straight birdies were teased at the start, and he shot two from there to finish eighth and get rid of reporters.

So, where did all this lead him to? Technically, in the same place – search – which is why we’re here today.Then again, this year, he lost to seven golfers in the majors, and you could say he at least found something.

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McIlroy knows both. In an interview this week to promote the GolfNow Compete app, his first comment since the PGA, he was asked about the week’s “regrets” and “positives,” and McIlroy listed a few of them .

“Sorry. Yeah, I’m sorry I didn’t take advantage of the benign conditions Friday afternoon. I’m sorry I had a huge run on the par-3 Saturday, I just needed to be under par for the last 12 holes One shot would have made the playoffs on Sunday, and I didn’t,” he said. “So, yeah, I definitely feel like it’s an escape. But again, I have to accept the positive fact that it’s absolutely the worst to finish eighth in a major – which is the same as when I was 21 last year. Winning the first two majors in 2019 was completely different. I missed the cut at Augusta and I finished 50th at the PGA. This year is a different story.

“This year is a lot more positive. My golf game is in a better place and I think I have to be as patient as possible at this point. Just know that if I keep playing the golf I’m playing, the opportunity will come, I’m going to give myself more chances this year, not only to win majors, but to win golf championships, in general. So it’s exciting, but yeah, last week was definitely disappointing, but I’m this year There is still a lot to look forward to.”

On the majors schedule, followed by the U.S. Open at Brookline Country Club in Massachusetts, followed by the Open Championship at St. Andrews, we’ll all be keeping an eye out for the usual suspects. On the PGA, McIlroy finished 5th in Strokes Gained: Off the Tee and Tee to Green (good!), 15th in SG: Approach (not bad!), and 15th in SG: Around the Green (hmm) And 43rd in SG: put (again um).

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Then again, McIlroy tells us and the juniors what’s most important. It doesn’t sound like he’s repeating “have fun” just for fun.

“I think there’s a lot to be said for that,” McIlroy said. “As I said, my golf game now is way ahead of last year’s. In fact, I was tied for the lead at the U.S. Open last year with nine holes to play, and one of the last four majors. 3 games, I had a really good chance of winning, or I had a really good result, so that’s a huge positive.

“I feel like the consistency in my golf game is back, which really isn’t. I feel like this year is very similar to 2019 when I had my best year ever. I’ve won four times and I’m a beauty Tour player of the year. All my stats, all my stats are very similar to that year, just no wins. So, I think those wins will come if I can be patient, if I keep giving myself Opportunity and keep knocking, then good things can happen.”

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Nick Piastowski

Nick Piastowski

Golf.com Editor

Nick Piastowski is Senior Editor for Golf.com and Golf Magazine. In his role, he is responsible for editing, writing, and developing golf stories. When he’s not writing about how to hit the golf ball farther and straighter, the Milwaukee native is probably playing the game, hitting the ball left and right, and drinking a cold beer to wash off his score. You can reach him at nick.piastowski@golf.com about any of these topics – his story, his game, or his beer.

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