Rory McIlroy was setting records while winning his first major at the U.S. Open last year, but it was an entirely different story this year. The 23-year-old golfer failed to make the cut at this year’s tournament at Olympic Club, and he has missed four cuts in his last five tournaments. This is McIlroy’s worst stretch since he was 19 and missed three straight cuts as the No. 164 in the world.
McIlroy missed the cut at The Players Championship a week after finishing tied for second at Quail Hollow, then he was cut at the BMW PGA Championship, and he suffered the same fate at the Memorial a week later — one of his favorite courses. McIlroy did finish seventh at the St. Jude Classic the week before the U.S. Open, but he still was cut at Olympic after shooting a 7-over 77 in his first round, and a 150 overall.
What’s strange is that the year started out extremely well for McIlroy. He had a top five finish in his first five tournaments of the year, including two seconds and a win at The Honda Classic in March. The success helped him achieve the world No. 1 ranking for the first time in his career, which he quickly lost.
McIlroy shouldn’t feel terribly about missing the cut at the U.S. Open given how tough the course played. One under par has been good enough to lead the tournament most of the time, and he’s not the only top player who failed to make the cut; world No. 1 golfer Luke Donald, and defending Masters champion Bubba Watson were also sent home early.
Rory felt like he hadn’t prepared well enough when he missed the cut at the BMW — his second straight missed cut — and he worked hard to set himself up for a good run after that, but the results weren’t there.
“Obviously I’m disappointed. It wasn’t the way I wanted to play, but, to be honest, overall I don’t feel like I played that badly,” McIlroy said of his play at the U.S. Open.
“You really have to be so precise out there. We’re just not used to playing this sort of course week-in, week-out.
“You have to adapt and adjust and I wasn’t able to do that very well.”
McIlroy also feels like he’s not that far off from turning things around. If you look at how difficult the course was this week, maybe he’s right.
I’d love to go ahead and blame some of the problems on new girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki and say he had his best success with Holly Sweeney in his corner, but that’s not entirely accurate. He became the world No. 1 player while he was with Wozniacki, and he had plenty of success early this year.
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