PINEHURST, N.C. – Another week, another nine-hole score in the 40s for Rory McIlroy.
This one effectively ended his chances here at the U.S. Open, where his 5-over front side Saturday sent him to a third-round 74 and 11 shots back of leader Martin Kaymer.
“I’m very disappointed that I couldn’t really keep it together today,” McIlroy said afterward.
The world No. 6 has six consecutive top-15 finishes worldwide, including a victory at the BMW PGA Championship, but it’s reasonable to wonder what could have been over the past few months. In four consecutive PGA Tour events he has posted a nine-hole score of 40 or worse, a run that each time cost him the tournament.
Here Saturday at Pinehurst No. 2, McIlroy bogeyed Nos. 2, 4, 5, 6 and 9 before a back-nine 34 salvaged a 74.
“It might be a little bit to do with once I get on a run and maybe trying a little too hard to get out of it and that compounds the issue,” he said. “I need to figure out these nine holes of golf where instead of it being 4 over or 5 over, maybe 1 or 2 over, just limiting the damage a little bit.”