UNIVERSITY PLACE, Wash. – Sometimes at the U.S. Open, even pars aren’t good enough.
Rory McIlroy made it around Chambers Bay in even par during his third round, but after getting off to a hot start Saturday he lamented the fact that he wasn’t able to play his way back into contention.
“I feel like I turned a 65 into a 70 today,” McIlroy said. “Just real disappointed.”
McIlroy birdied two of his first seven holes and made the turn in 33, but his round was derailed where many others have had issues this week – on the greens. McIlroy missed a 4-foot birdie putt on No. 10, three-putted No. 11 and missed another birdie attempt from 6 feet on No. 12.
McIlroy didn’t make a birdie over his final 11 holes, and at 4 over his chances for a fifth major title are essentially over. While Henrik Stenson said the greens at Chambers Bay were “like putting on broccoli” after the second round, McIlroy chose another vegetable to make his comparison.
“I don’t think they’re as green as broccoli. I think they’re more like cauliflower,” McIlroy said. “Like, they are what they are; everyone has to putt on them. It’s all mental. Some guys embrace it more than others, and that’s really the way it is. It is disappointing that they’re not in better shape.”
McIlroy remains pleased with his tee-to-green game this week, but he admitted that he dug too big of a hole with his second-round finish, which included a four-putt double bogey on No. 17 and a bogey on No. 18.
“I was disappointed, but at least I had a chance today to go out and try and shoot a good score and get myself somewhat back into it,” he said. “And for half the round today, it looked like I would. And it was just another disappointing finish.”