One bad round costs McIlroy big-time

Austin American-Statesman - - SPORTS -

ST. AN­DREWS, Scot­land — One bad round. One com­pletely, ut­terly aw­ful round.

Take that away, and Rory McIlroy’s walk up the 18th fair­way Sun­day at the Bri­tish Open might have been tri­umphant.

“I couldn’t help but think about Fri­day,” McIlroy said af­ter shoot­ing a 68 that moved him into a tie for third place. “You know, if I had just sort of stuck in a lit­tle bit more on Fri­day and held it to­gether more, it could have been a dif­fer­ent story.”

McIlroy fin­ished eight strokes be­hind win­ner Louis Oosthuizen. Take away the 80 he posted Fri­day and give him a score in the 60s — as he had the other three days — and it ex­plains why he wasn’t thrilled with his best fin­ish at a ma­jor.

“I knew that I had a good chance com­ing in here, and it was nice to sort of be there for a while,” he said. “I’m still a bit dis­ap­pointed, to be hon­est.”

With Lee West­wood, the No. 3 player in the world still nurs­ing a bum leg, McIlroy ar­rived at St. An­drews as the best hope to end the United King­dom’s los­ing streak at its own open. No golfer from Bri­tain or North­ern Ire­land has hoisted the claret jug since Paul Lawrie in 1999, and Nick Faldo was the last English­man to win, claim­ing the last of his three Open ti­tles in 1992. isn’t Tiger Woods or Phil Mick­el­son.

Sean O’Hair and Nick Wat­ney were the only Amer­i­cans in the top 10 on Sun­day. Woods tied for 23rd. Mick­el­son, who could have taken over the No. 1 rank­ing for the first time in his ca­reer with a win on the Old Course, tied for 48th. Nei­ther was ever in con­tention.

Rory McIlroy

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