‘Nothing Memorable’ is how Rory McIlroy summed-up his efforts in the year’s four Majors.
McIlroy, who had been in contention for a ‘Grand Slam’ Masters triumph, missed the cut in the US Open, finished joint runner-up in The Open but hardly raised a whisper in bogeying the Bellerive last in a final round 70 for a distant share of 50th place.
McIlroy looked again to be simply going through the motions, managing four birdies and just as many bogeys but his last round of the year’s last Major was pure adventure as he found just four of 14 fairways, was in the water twice off the tee and found water right with his second at the eighth. Then at the ninth his second shot was 50-feet long and past the hole from where he brilliantly chipped-in for birdie.
That said, he headed to the closing having recording just 12 putts, with four of those being one-putts at four and five.
McIlroy’s inward nine was just as bizarre including having to take a penalty drop from a flower bed after his second shot flew the green by all of 40-yards but he managed to save par.
He pulled-off a second longest drive of his St. Louis week with a 346-yard screamer down the 12th, which was 13-yards shorter than his effort at eight on Friday minutes before the storm stoppage.
McIlroy walked off the last major before returning to Augusta National in eight months also hitting just two inward fairways and a total of just 26 putts and when quizzed if there was anything he would remember from a 10th straight season competing at the game’s highest level his response was blunt and to the point
“I probably won’t,” he said. “I don’t think there was anything all that memorable about the year. I had one good chance, I guess I maybe had two, but I didn’t really contend the back nine at Augusta.”
“I mean, I gave myself two chances. I wanted to give myself chances and get into contention. I didn’t get into contention in 2017, don’t think I did in ‘16, so I guess it has been a positive from that standpoint.”
“But in saying that there’s still a lot of golf to play this season and potentially playing eight more events to the end of the year.”
The double PGA winning McIlroy’s Bellerive showing is his third poorest in 10 PGAs, managing just one of the four days to break par and that was in shooting a 67 in round two. McIlroy squeezed-out 13 birdies over the 72 holes but also had nine bogeys.
He was first in ‘longest drives’ but way down (T137th) in ‘driving accuracy’, T89th in ‘greens in regulation’ and T27th in ‘putts per round’.
“It’s been a year where there has been glimpses of showing what I can do but I just haven’t done it often enough, I guess,” he said.
“Obviously, it’s the major season over and we’ve got to wait a few months for the next one but there is still a lot of golf to play this year and still quite a bit to play for.”
“As for the four majors? There is a lot of room for improvement as my swing hasn’t been where I would want it to be. At the start of the year I had a couple of months to work on it but it sort of has regressed as the season has moved on and when you start to play tournaments, you start to fall back into some of the habits yon don’t want to fall back into.”
“Then that’s just been inconsistent as I’ve missed the ball right and I’ve also missed the ball left and I haven’t taken one side of the golf course out of play, and that’s been my real weakness as you stand up on a tee shot and it would be nice to know you can eliminate one side of the golf course and this year I have not felt like that.”
“So inconsistency with my swing has been the big area as you look at my statistics, and especially with regard ‘approach play’ and my irons and even though my driving has been okay, there’s been a two-way miss with everything throughout the bag and that is clearly not a good thing and that is something I need to work on.”
McIlroy will take this week off to continue work on his game and hinted before leaving St. Louis he may sit-out next week’s August 23rd commencing Northern Trust and the opening event of the four-event FedEx Cup Play-Off Series.