McIlroy with much to work on after coming up well short at Kiawah

Bernie McGuire
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McIlroy with much to work on after coming up well short at Kiawah

Rory McIlroy (Photo by Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images)

Rory McIlroy will spend his week off panel-beating all facets of his game after a disappointing PGA Championship five-over par tally at Kiawah Island.

McIlroy never recovered from a bogey-littered opening 75 and then added rounds of 72, 74 and a closing 72. It handed the four-time major winner a share of 52nd place some 45-minutes before the final group of Phil Mickelson and Brooks Koepka took to the Ocean Course.

McIlroy’s closing round sadly began as it had on day one when he was forced to take a penalty drop in finding water off the tee on route also to a bogey. He then two-putted the par-5 second for a birdie and superbly chipped to just three-feet at the par-4 third hole also for birdie.

What followed was a bogey on five, a birdie on nine, a bogey on 10, a 15-footer for birdie at the 12th and a ‘get me out of here’ bogey at the last.

“Just more of the same today, very average, sort of can’t really get anything going and it was a day where you had to get off to a fast start,” he said. “The first few holes were playing a lot easier than they have done, and I didn’t do that, and yeah, just sort of stuck in neutral.

“The par-s were the killer as I made six bogeys on the par-5s in the first two days, I think. Especially on a par-72, those are the holes that you have to birdie. Even walking off there with pars is a disappointment, so to walk off there with bogeys is obviously even worse.

“I really put myself behind the 8-ball with that. I actually felt like I putted okay the first couple days and then just over the weekend I started to miss a few. I started to over-read them a little bit and was sort of questioning my reads, a little bit of indecisiveness crept in.”

McIlroy ended his 12th PGA Championship and 49th major failing to break 70 over the four days and averaging 73.25 per round – that’s 4.5 shots more per round than when he won nine years ago at Kiawah Island.

Looking back over the four days, McIlroy grabbed 13 birdies but posted 18 bogeys while his ‘favourite’ hole was the par-4 sixth he played in two-under. His ‘least favourite’ hole was the par-10th that McIlroy played in three-over par.

“I just need to figure out a driver, as well,” said McIlroy. “I just haven’t driven the ball as well as I know that I can for a long time, and that’s really the foundation of my game, I guess, and once I’m driving it well, everything becomes so much easier.

“I just haven’t driven the ball like myself for a while. Probably haven’t driven the ball like myself since 2019, so I need to figure it out.”

McIlroy was headed home to his family for a week off before making his way to Ohio to tee-up in the June 3rd starting Memorial. He has yet to win the Jack Nicklaus event.

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