Another week, another tournament, another time zone, and another round of par or better for Rory McIlroy.
Even with a disappointing finish, the world No. 1 shot a 1-under 71 Thursday to sit six shots off the lead at the European Tour’s BMW PGA Championship.
The BMW PGA, which kick-started his incredible summer run a year ago, is McIlroy’s fourth consecutive start. He is also playing next week’s Irish Open, an event hosted by his foundation.
He has hoisted a trophy two of the past three weeks, but he has also played 265 holes and flown more than 7,100 miles during that span.
Physically, McIlroy said he’s holding up fine. He’s more concerned about his mental edge.
“I could feel myself getting a little angry out there,” he told reporters. “Acceptance of bad shots is the thing I have been doing so well, and I feel like my patience was wearing a bit thin today.”
His 1-under-par opener at Wentworth was still his 20th consecutive stroke-play round of par or better, dating to the second round of the WGC-Cadillac Championship.
On Thursday, he mixed four birdies with three bogeys, but likely was left wanting more after he failed to birdie each of the closing par-5 holes.
Right of the 17th green in two, he attempted a big flop shot that carried too far and trickled off the green. His fourth shot lipped out and he settled for par.
After driving into a fairway bunker on 18, McIlroy was forced to lay up and then wedged to 10 feet. His birdie putt came up a few inches short.
“I felt like I was standing still at 1 under,” he said, “but looking at the leaderboard it was not so bad.”