RORY McILROY’S hopes of ending his eight-year major championship starvation took a heavy hit on two of Southern Hills’ shortest holes.
McIlroy found water six on par 3 to drive up a double bogey 5 – and still looked shocked as he dropped shots on seven and eight to fall off the leaderboard.
And his attempt to rebound on the back nine hit the rocks when he suffered another shock at 168 yards 11, where he ran up a triple bogey SIX.
McIlroy hooked his tee shot into the deep rough, took two more shots to find the green, and then made a three-putt from within ten yards.
Birdies at 13 and 14 repaired some of the damage, but it takes something special for him to be chasing the leaders today.
Those early struggles meant the rich promise of McIlroy’s first-round 65, which gave him the outright lead in a Major for the first time in eight years, ebbed in depressingly familiar ways.
Even if the four-time Major champion is able to recreate his exploits in the final round of the Masters – where he hit a stunning 64 to indicate his next big win might not be far off – it almost certainly will another case of being too little too late.
At least McIlroy didn’t suffer the same fate as the man who pushed him to second place in Augusta, world No. 1 Scottie Scheffler.
Scheffler spent the weekend doing something very unusual after missing the cut by two shots – trying to figure out exactly what went wrong at his “favourite course in the world”.
Scheffler wasn’t the only big name to travel home from Southern Hills earlier than expected.
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Double major winner Dustin Johnson also finished six over par, while Ryder Cup teammate Patrick Cantlay was a whopping five shots down.
European Ryder Cup team-mates Sergio Garcia, Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter also went home early – and there’s a good chance we’ll next see them in the Saudi-backed LIV series opener on June 9.
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/5393755/rory-mcilroys-pga-championship-leaderboard-body-blow/ Rory McIlroy’s hopes of ending the eight-year wait for a major take a physical hit after two terrible holes at the PGA Championship