The 122nd US Open event saw Rory McIlroy clinch a top-five finish, despite the Irishman targeting a better finish to end his major drought. Having gone into the final day three strokes behind, McIlroy got off to a flying start with a birdie on the opening hole, then went on to hit four bogeys in the drama-filled final round.
The former number one golfer who had contemplated representing both Northern Ireland and Britain in the past had lots of backing from fans, who also took to online casinos to bet on the sport. Outfits like Leovegas offer golf and several other sports popular among UK players, including football, cricket, formula 1, etcetera. While the day hadn’t gone as McIlroy intended, he’d be placated with his overall performance.
A fifth-place finish didn’t deter McIlroy’s good form coming into the event. But with his last major win coming almost eight years ago, the golfer can be excused for wanting more.
His form leading up to the competition has been nothing short of imperious, having won the Canadian Open four times in five tries, coming eight at the PGA Championship, second at The Masters, and fifth at the Wells Fargo Championship.
The Irishman was one of the top contenders from the get-go and was one stroke off the lead after a decent first round that saw him head into the weekend with four-under-par. However, on Saturday, McIlroy relinquished his pursuit of the top pack, hitting a 73. This unusual start flattened the golfer’s three off the lead start, impacting his ability to mount a serious challenge.
After the event, McIlroy was quoted saying:
…“It wasn’t that easy out there. I needed to shoot a 65 or a 66 to get the job done, and I just wasn’t quite on it enough to do that. I still feel like I played well and shot a solid round of golf, but just not quite good enough to contend”…
McIlroy’s Thoughts on his Game
Although the consensus is that McIlroy missed another opportunity, he understands that he is a good player in top form, capable of competing at the top level.
But like all good players, he understands that processing and resetting the outcome of the tournament could take a minute. He said, “I’ll look back at this as another missed opportunity, just as Southern Hills was. But missed opportunities are better than not contending at all – so that is a positive.”
McIlroy is committed to patience at this stage in his career, choosing instead to avail himself of the opportunity to compete because only that way could he secure his flowers sooner or later.
Finally, he concluded that he put in the hard work and tried his best to carve out a winning opportunity. But things happen in sports. McIlroy is placated by the thought that he’s closer to a major win than he’s been for some time now. And that’s a good thing.
The Irishman’s Legacy
The LIV Golf saga rocked the sport with no small amount of intrigue. Rory McIlroy maintained an ambivalent stand, siding with the right side of posterity.
At this stage of his golfing career, the Irishman is readily one of the top characters in the sport and still the biggest name on the books of the PGA Tour ahead of the first clash against the Saudi-backed tour that is LIV Golf, which nabbed many names from the former’s roster.
McIlroy has established himself as one of the longest players in the sport, and a great reader of the game, capable of picking out distant putts. His skill and success from the start of his career shot him to the top of the charts, such that as early as a decade ago, he was presented with a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) medal.