McIlroy's missed cut just a blip on the radar

By Will GrayMay 22, 2015, 5:53 pm

After his 78th swipe of the day, Rory McIlroy walked off the final green at Wentworth Golf Club, a victim of the 36-hole cut at the BMW PGA Championship.

Surprising? Certainly. Concerning? Not in the least.

McIlroy remains in the midst of a whirlwind spring tour that might be better suited for his musical friend Niall Horan: five events in five weeks across three countries, two continents and a handful of time zones.

The fatigue associated with that itinerary may have contributed to McIlroy’s early exit. After all, we saw Jordan Spieth suffer a similar fate earlier this month at The Players Championship, reduced from world-beater to also-ran in the span of 36 holes. Incidentally, he seems to have found his way once again this week at Colonial.

"I'm probably in need of a little bit of a rest," McIlroy said. "I'd rather still be here, but it's not all bad getting to go home for the weekend."

Maybe it wasn’t just the fatigue, though. Perhaps it was the layout itself, as McIlroy has never really gotten along with the West Course at Wentworth. Friday’s result meant three missed cuts in the last four years, a trend that serves to highlight just how impressive his victory a year ago was.

Or maybe this was simply a bad day at the office. McIlroy appeared out of sorts early on, hitting three consecutive shots from the sand en route to a bogey on No. 3, and he didn’t make his first birdie until No. 8. McIlroy’s round officially derailed on the easiest stretch of the course, holes 10-13. While the world No. 1 was expected to rally with a handful of birdies, he instead played the four holes in 4 over, including a double bogey on No. 11, to essentially seal his fate.

"I'm sort of back to my usual at Wentworth," McIlroy said. "It wasn't great before I won last year, and it hasn't been great after."

Great players have bad rounds – even when coming off a seven-shot romp in their most recent start. McIlroy’s score was 17 shots higher than his third-round total six days ago at Quail Hollow, a spread that indicates golf’s vagaries strike even the best in the world.

It also shows just how superhuman Tiger Woods was during his prime. Coming off two victories in three starts, a missed cut for Woods a decade ago would have been as unlikely as a five-putt. Tiger is Tiger and Rory is Rory, no matter how easy it seems to compare the two.

"It was inevitable at some point that the run was going to come to a bit of an end," McIlroy said.

We’ve been here before with McIlroy, though, and know better than to read too much into a single poor result. He missed the cut in surprising fashion last year at the Irish Open, then turned around and won everything in sight across the summer.

He missed the cut earlier this year, too, at the Honda Classic in March. Whispers swirled again: Would he be able to follow up a two-major season? Had rust gathered in the winter months?

Six consecutive top-11 results followed, including wins at both TPC Harding Park and Quail Hollow, to silence any of those doubts.

So as McIlroy heads to the Irish Open – with a couple of extra days off – it’s wise not to read too deeply into the tea leaves scattered in his wake at Wentworth. Next week, McIlroy will serve as tournament host at Royal County Down, an event that means as much if not more to him than this week’s test.

After that it will be the U.S. Open, where McIlroy admitted earlier this week the uncertainty presented by Chambers Bay will make it difficult to predict an outcome. McIlroy could show up and dust the field as he did at Congressional in 2011, or he could cancel his weekend hotel reservations.

The takeaway from McIlroy’s game is not this week, it’s this month. He will not make every cut, and when his ball-striking begins to falter, he is still prone to big numbers. That hasn’t changed.

But the last four weeks, specifically the two wins, demonstrated that McIlroy is the best player in the world. A missed cut at Wentworth showed that he is still human, but it doesn’t unseat him from golf’s pole position.

Getty Images

Rose's Saturday 64 matches Carnoustie Open record

By Ryan LavnerJuly 21, 2018, 1:03 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Justin Rose needed to sink a 14-foot putt on the final hole Friday just to make the cut on the number at The Open.

Freewheeling when he came to the course Saturday, Rose tied the lowest score ever recorded in an Open at Carnoustie.

Entering the weekend nine shots off the lead, the world No. 3 carded a bogey-free, 7-under 64 to at least make things interesting. It won’t be known for several hours how many shots Rose will be behind, but his back-nine 30 gives him an opportunity, if the wind blows 25 mph Sunday as forecast, to challenge the leaders.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

After all, Paul Lawrie was 10 shots back entering the final round here in 1999.

“I think the birdie on 18 last night freed me up, and I’m just very happy to be out on this golf course and not down the road somewhere else this morning,” said Rose, who is at 4-under 209. “So that might have been part of the shift in mindset today. I had nothing to lose from that point of view.”

Rose’s 64 matched Steve Stricker and Richard Green’s record score at Carnoustie (2007).

It also was Rose’s career-low round in a major.

Getty Images

Tiger Tracker: 147th Open Championship

By Tiger TrackerJuly 21, 2018, 12:45 pm

Tiger Woods, in search of his 15th career major championship title, started the weekend six off the lead at Carnoustie. We're tracking him in Round 3 of The Open.

Getty Images

Watch: Full replays of The Open coverage

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 21, 2018, 12:20 pm

NBC Sports and Golf Channel are showcasing nearly 50 hours of live coverage of the 147th Open. Missed anything? Well, you can catch up right here. Click on the links below for replays from Carnoustie, broken down into daily segments:

Saturday, Day 3 (Times ET)

4:30-7AM (Watch): Sunny skies and birdies were on the menu early in Round 3, as Justin Rose made his way around Carnoustie in 64 strokes. Click here or on the image below to watch.

Friday, Day 2 (Times ET)

8:20AM-3PM (Watch): As the skies cleared on Friday afternoon, defending champion Jordan Spieth made a run to try and regain the claret jug. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the marquee group: Jordan Spieth, Justin Rose and Kiradech Aphibarnrat.

1:30-8:20AM (Watch): On a rainy Friday morning at Carnoustie, Rory McIlroy shot 69 to reach 4 under, while Zach Johnson fired a 67 for the early lead. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the marquee group: Brooks Koepka, Ian Poulter and Cameron Smith.

Thursday, Day 1 (Times ET)

Noon-4PM (Watch): Tiger Woods was up and down in the afternoon, as winds picked up a little and no one could catch Kevin Kisner. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the marquee group: Woods, Russell Knox and Hideki Matsuyama.

1:30-8:25AM (Watch): Defending champion Jordan Spieth got off to a good start, while Kevin Kisner (66) set the early pace. Click here or on the image below to watch. Also, click here to watch the full replay of the marquee group: Rickie Fowler, Jon Rahm and Chris Wood.

Getty Images

How to watch The Open on TV and online

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 21, 2018, 8:30 am

You want to watch the 147th Open? Here’s how you can do it.

Golf Channel and NBC Sports will be televising 182 hours of overall programming from the men's third major of the year at Carnoustie

In addition to the traditional coverage, the two networks will showcase three live alternate feeds: marquee groups, featured holes (our new 3-hole channel) and spotlight action. You can also watch replays of full-day coverage, Thursday-Sunday, in the Golf Channel app, NBC Sports apps, and on  

Here’s the weekly TV schedule, with live stream links in parentheses. You can view all the action on the Golf Channel mobile, as well. Alternate coverage is noted in italics:

(All times Eastern; GC=Golf Channel; NBC=NBC Sports; or check the GLE app)

Monday, July 16

GC: 7-9AM: Morning Drive (

GC: 9-11AM: Live From The Open (

GC: 7-9PM: Live From The Open (

Tuesday, July 17

GC: 6AM-2PM: Live From The Open (

Wednesday, July 18

GC: 6AM-2PM: Live From The Open (

Thursday, July 19

GC: Midnight-1:30AM: Midnight Drive (

GC: Day 1: The Open, live coverage: 1:30AM-4PM ( Day 1: The Open, Spotlight: 1:30AM-4PM ( Day 1: The Open, Marquee Groups: 4AM-3PM ( Day 1: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 4AM-3PM (

GC: Live From The Open: 4-5PM (

Friday, July 20

GC: Day 2: The Open, live coverage: 1:30AM-4PM ( Day 2: The Open, Spotlight: 1:30AM-4PM ( Day 2: The Open, Marquee Groups: 4AM-3PM ( Day 2: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 4AM-3PM (

GC: Live From The Open: 4-5PM (

Saturday, July 21

GC: Day 3: The Open, live coverage: 4:30-7AM (

NBC: Rd. 3: The Open, live coverage: 7AM-3PM ( Day 3: The Open, Spotlight: 4:30AM-3PM ( Day 3: The Open, Marquee Groups: 5AM-3PM ( Day 3: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 5AM-3PM (

GC: Live From The Open: 3-4PM (

Sunday, July 22

GC: Day 4: The Open, live coverage: 4:30-7AM (

NBC: Rd. 4: The Open, live coverage: 7AM-2:30PM ( Day 4: The Open, Spotlight: 4:30AM-2:30PM ( Day 4: The Open, Marquee Groups: 5AM-2PM ( Day 4: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 5AM-2PM (

GC: Live From The Open: 2:30-4PM (