McIlroy rues ‘another missed opportunity’ to end major drought

McIlroy followed a runner-up finish at The Masters and eighth-place finish at the PGA Championship by claiming a share of fifth at The Country Club, his fourth consecutive top-10 finish at the US Open, ending the week four shots behind Matt Fitzpatrick

By Ali Stafford in Brookline

Last Updated: 20/06/22 12:30am

Rory McIlroy remains without a major victory since his 2014 PGA Championship win Rory McIlroy remains without a major victory since his 2014 PGA Championship win

Rory McIlroy remains without a major victory since his 2014 PGA Championship win

Rory McIlroy believes an end to his major drought is getting closer after having to settle for a top-five finish at the 122nd US Open.

McIlroy went into the final day three strokes back and made the dream start with an opening-hole birdie, only to mix five birdies with four bogeys in an eventful final-round 69.

The Northern Irishman finished four strokes back in tied-fifth as Matt Fitzpatrick secured a maiden major victory, with McIlroy pleased with his performance but disappointed not to come closer to a second win in as many weeks.

McIlroy, winner of the RBC Canadian Open last week, was chasing a second victory in as many starts McIlroy, winner of the RBC Canadian Open last week, was chasing a second victory in as many starts

McIlroy, winner of the RBC Canadian Open last week, was chasing a second victory in as many starts

“I’ll look back at this as another missed opportunity just as Southern Hills was, but missed opportunities are better than not contending at all,” McIlroy said. “So that is a positive. I have to stay patient at this point because if I just keep putting myself in position, sooner or later it’s going to be my day and I’m going to get one.

“It’s not win or bust. It’s not as if where I finished today is the same as not playing on the weekend. I guess when I look back, will I remember the fifth place I had at Brookline? Probably not.

“Yeah, there’s positives to take from it. I played well enough to give myself a chance to win. I didn’t get the job done, but I’m closer than I have been in a while, which is good.”

After rolling in from 25 feet at the first, McIlroy cancelled out a bogey at the third by holing a 20-foot birdie at the fourth but then dropped another shot at the driveable next after electing to putt from off the green.

Rory McIlroy made the perfect start to the final round of the US Open at Brookline as he birdied the first hole to move to two-under-par

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Rory McIlroy made the perfect start to the final round of the US Open at Brookline as he birdied the first hole to move to two-under-par

Rory McIlroy made the perfect start to the final round of the US Open at Brookline as he birdied the first hole to move to two-under-par

McIlroy followed a birdie at the sixth by bogeying the next and failing to take advantage of the par-five eighth, seeing him reach the turn five off the pace, while any slim hopes of a late major charge ended when he missed from nine feet to save par at the 11th.

Back-to-back birdies from the 14th lifted McIlroy back inside the top-five and within three of the lead, before getting up and down from a greenside bunker to save par at the 16th and then missing birdie opportunities over the final two holes.

Matt Fitzpatrick claimed his maiden major title at the US Open with a two putt par on the 72nd hole as Will Zalatoris missed a birdie putt to force a play-off

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Matt Fitzpatrick claimed his maiden major title at the US Open with a two putt par on the 72nd hole as Will Zalatoris missed a birdie putt to force a play-off

Matt Fitzpatrick claimed his maiden major title at the US Open with a two putt par on the 72nd hole as Will Zalatoris missed a birdie putt to force a play-off

McIlroy will make his fourth start in as many weeks at the Travelers Championship, before taking two weeks off ahead of teeing it up in The 150th Open at St Andrews next month.

“A bit of a roller coaster on the front nine, bogeys and birdies,” McIlroy added. “Got off to a great start. Sort of feel like there was a couple of holes out there this week that were my nemesis, the third being one of them.

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“It wasn’t that easy out there. Obviously, there was a few good scores, but I needed to shoot a 65 or a 66 to get the job done today and I just wasn’t quite on it enough to do that. I still feel like I played well and shot a solid round of golf, but just not quite good enough to contend.

“Another top five in a major. I guess doesn’t really mean anything. Yeah, the game’s there. I’ve got one more start next week in Hartford before I go to the Open Championship.

“I’ll get two weeks of good rest before The Open and play some links golf and prepare and look forward to that. Again, my game’s in good shape. I’ve got one more chance this year to try to get that major.”

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