McIlroy to take a few weeks away after “toughest day of professional career”

Ronan MacNamara

Rory McIlroy (Logan Whitton/USGA)

Ronan MacNamara

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Rory McIlroy will take a few weeks off from golf following his gut-wrenching disappointment at the US Open at Pinehurst on Sunday night.

McIlroy saw a two shot lead with five holes to play slip through his fingers as he dropped three shots to allow Bryson DeChambeau to swoop in and claim his second US Open title.

Of all the near misses in the last ten years since his fourth and last major title, this was by far the most painful and the Holywood man revealed he is going to take some time to reflect and process what happened.

McIlroy surrendered the initiative after missing a putt from just over two feet on the par-4 16th before he failed to get up and down for par from just short of the 18th green to suddenly go from two shots clear with five to play to missing out by a shot.

The 35-year-old left the North Carolina venue without addressing the media after his round but has since released a statement on social media where he dealt with the situation of Sunday night and paid tribute to DeChambeau.

McIlroy has played a packed schedule to remain as sharp as possible leading into the first three majors of the year but will now not hit a competitive shot until the week before the Open at Royal Troon when he defends his Genesis Scottish Open crown.

“Yesterday was a tough day, probably the toughest I’ve had in my nearly 17 years as a professional golfer.

“Firstly, l’d like to congratulate Bryson. He is a worthy champion and exactly what professional golf needs right now. I think we can all agree on that.

“As I reflect on my week, I’ll rue a few things over the course of the tournament, mostly the 2 missed putts on 16 and 18 on the final day. But, as I always try to do, l’ll look at the positives of the week that far outweigh the negatives. As I said at the start of the tournament, I feel closer to winning my next major championship than I ever have.

“The one word that I would describe my career as is resilient. I’ve shown my resilience over and over again in the last 17 years and I will again.

“I’m going to take a few weeks away from the game to process everything and build myself back up for my defense of the Genesis Scottish Open and The Open at Royal Troon.

“See you in Scotland.”

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