Rory McIlroy admits his latest major championship near miss at last week’s US Open hasn’t been as painful as losing the Open Championship at St Andrews last year.
McIlroy lost out to Wyndham Clark by a shot at LA Country Club last week for his third runner-up finish in a major. There were shades of what happened at the Old Course 11 months ago with a cold putter hampering his chances but he admits but he admitted it hurt far less than when he was ambushed on the back nine by Cam Smith.
“It was disappointing at the time,” McIlroy told Sky Sports. “But in my mind, I quickly turned to all the positives that were obviously there last week.
“This one’s been a little easier to get over than St Andrews last year. St Andrews took me a while.
“Sitting on the 10th tee at St Andrews with a three-shot lead, obviously not knowing what Cam was going to do, that was hard to take.
“But Wyndham played a great back nine of golf and he held on well and hit some remarkable recovery shots and made some great saves. And, you know, the two shots into the 14th.
“Again, as I said on Sunday, the two things I’ll rue from that day are the putt on eight and the wedge shot into 14. I felt like I did everything I wanted to do.
“When you can’t really pick it apart that much, you’ve just got to give credit to the guy that beat you and move on and being able to get back to playing straightaway this week. It’s sort of nice. It means I’m not dwelling on stuff and I just go out there and try and play some more good golf.”
McIlroy said on Sunday he would go through 100 Sunday disappointments like he had – that’s two now – if it meant his nine-year major drought ended and he lifted his fifth major.
“I’d love to turn up to a major and win one by eight like I’ve done before,” he said. “I mean, that would be a really nice way to do it. But to be at the business end of those tournaments … you know, the thing I really pleased about over the last couple of years is I’ve been doing it more consistently.
“That was my fifth top 10 in a row at the US Open. I had three missed cuts before that. So I’m getting to play Major championship golf really, really well. And that’s a huge positive.
“Like I’m playing here this week and I’m playing the Scottish Open but I’m excited for Hoylake in a few weeks’ time.”