It has been a tough go lately for world No. 4 Rory McIlroy. The four-time major winner, who has missed considerable time with a rib injury, has had trouble finding a new putter, and has not played well as of late.
Still, Rory can turn this season around with a good showing at next week’s Open Championship at Royal Birkdale.
He is in Scotland this week for an Open tune-up, but if he wants to be Open-ready, he will need to do a lot better than he did today. A troublesome start of 4-over through his first four holes, led to a round of 2-over 73, and has him well off the lead through the opening round of the Scottish Open.
- Tough Start: Rory McIlroy, attempting to get back in form before The Open Championship, appears to have a ways to go before contending in a major. He started par, bogey, bogey, double-bogey, and while he played much better from there, it still resulted in a round of 73 (+2).
- Better On Back: A birdie and another bogey had Rory at 4-over at the turn. On his back nine, he had three birdies through seven holes, but dropped another shot with a bogey-5 on the par-4 9th hole.
- Way Back: Among the morning wave, Rory finished seven strokes back of leaders Rickie Fowler, Ian Poulter, Andrew Dodt, and Callum Shinkwin. Finland’s Mikko Ilonen, playing in the afternoon wave, finished two strokes better: a 7-under 64.
- Horrid Stretch: McIlroy came into this tournament off a missed cut at last week’s DDF Irish Open, where he was the defending champion. He also missed the cut at last month’s U.S. Open, shooting 78-71 through two rounds of a major that set records for low scoring.
- Putting Problems: Rory’s recent putting issues have been especially well-documented. He used three different putters over four rounds of last month’s Traveler’s Championship. After three atrocious putting rounds at TPC River Highlands, Rory was better on the greens during a final-round 64. He gave a lukewarm endorsement to the putter he used in that round, but has regressed back since.
“It’s close. It’s hard to sit up here and stand in front of a camera every single time and say to you guys it’s close, because I sound a bit after a broken record after a few weeks. But really, it’s not far away.”
–Rory McIlroy, during a Wednesday press conference