Rory McIlroy has a terrific record at St Andrews – without winning.
The most glaring of his near misses was just two months ago when he remarkably finished third in a seemingly two-horse race at the 150th Open Championship where now LIV exiled Cameron Smith stole in to take the Claret Jug.
McIlroy did little wrong that day with two birdies and sixteen pars but the outcome definitely hurt and he admitted to still feeling that sting of missing out on a fifth major title and first since 2014.
A win at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship wouldn’t normally be top of McIlroy’s agenda when writing out his list of goals for the year but it would mean a lot more than he could have imagined at the start of the season.
The Holywood native has always performed at his best with a point to prove. He took down world number one Scottie Scheffler at the Tour Championship. Has been in contention in his last two outings in Wentworth and Rome and he’s primed to win again as he looks to secure both the FedEx Cup and Race to Dubai titles.
McIlroy’s career really began at the Home of Golf as a third place finish in 2007 secured him a DP World Tour card for the 2008 season while he also has two runner-up finishes since then in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.
“I feel like any time I’ve had a setback in my career, whether it be a setback of missing a cut or having a chance to win a tournament and not pulling it off, I always feel like I’ve been able to bounce back a little,” he said.
“Throughout my career, whether it be trying to get my first win on the DP World Tour in 2008 in Switzerland, losing in a play-off there, I was able to get myself into the top 50 (in the Official World Golf Ranking) by the end of the year.
“Trying to win my first Major Championship (at the 2011 Masters Tournament), didn’t win that and bounced back a of couple months after at the U.S. Open.
“I feel like time and time again, I’ve been able to bounce back from some adversity. It’s been a learning curve but I think it’s one of the things that I’ll look back on my career in 20 years’ time… it’s probably one of the things I’m the most proud of, that I have bounced back from setbacks very, very well and I’ve become more resilient as I’ve gone on in my career.