McIlroy proud of efforts after breaking par at Bethpage Park

Bernie McGuire
Rory McIlroy / Image from Getty Images

Rory McIlroy (Photo: Getty Images)

Bernie McGuire

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Rory McIlroy had good reason to sound his pride in finally managing to break par on the last day of the PGA Championship at Bethpage Park.

McIlroy grabbed three birdies and one less bogey in a one-under par 69 that eventually saw the Holywood star place eighth at one-over par on the brutal Black course on New York’s Long Island.

It is McIlroy’s best PGA finish in five years since capturing his last of four Majors with victory in the same event in 2014 at Valhalla in Kentucky.

McIlroy ended his 42nd Major showing and a first as a 30-year with a birdie on 17 ahead of a closing par.

Looking back, he was five-under par over the outward nine but played the four days of the homeward nine in six-over par.

“If I only had played the first 27-hole a lot better but in saying that, I am proud of myself as I didn’t let my head drop and I tried to very end,” he said.

“Golf tournaments are 72 holes and most people forget that sometimes.

“So, I tried over every shot for all 72 holes and I felt I made the most of the opportunities to play this weekend and it meant having a couple of extra days to go out and shoot good scores and get myself up the leader board a little bit.

“So, it was a nice positive way to finish.

“It wasn’t good enough to be up there in contention but I made improvements each and every day, which is a good thing.”

McIlroy has this week off before three events in succession, the May 30th starting Jack Nicklaus-hosted Memorial, the June 6th commencing RBC Canadian Open and the June 13th start to the U.S. Open.

“I’m looking forward to the U.S. Open at Pebble as when I was there in 2010, I played with Tom Watson the first two rounds, so that was pretty cool,” he said.

“I’m looking forward to it. I’m looking forward to that run of golf. Actually, my record in the U.S. Open hasn’t been very good the last few years.

“So, I wanted to mix it up a little bit, so it’s going to be my third tournament in a row, playing Memorial, Canada and then Pebble.

“Looking forward to that run of golf and looking forward to getting my game sharp and in good shape for that major.”

Meanwhile, Shane Lowry jets back into Dublin this morning tied with McIlroy at one-over par after bravely fighting his way back into the event following a disappointing first round 75 with subsequent rounds of 69, 68 and 69.

Having made the cut on the number, a third successive round in the 60s earned the Clara swinger a cheque in excess of $250,000 for a very productive week’s work.

Full Scoring HERE

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