McIlroy trying to stay patient after Open dud

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LYTHAM ST. ANNES, England – If this one hurt more than last year, Rory McIlroy wasn’t letting on.

For the second consecutive Open Championship the Ulsterman was a non-story on Sunday at the major that means the most to him, continuing a run of pedestrian play that featured two missed cuts (BMW PGA Championship and the U.S. Open) in his last three starts.

“I just need to stay patient,” said McIlroy, who opened with a 67 on Thursday but played the rest of the week in 11 over and was tied for 66th at the end of his round. “If it doesn’t happen over the next few weeks it’s no big deal, it’s going to be a 20-year career.”

McIlroy, who tied for 25th last year at Royal St. George’s and caused a minor stir when he suggested that his game may not be the best fit for links golf, could slip to third in the world golf ranking if Tiger Woods, who begins the day alone in fourth place and five strokes behind Adam Scott, finishes tied for third place or better.