Sunday Mirror


Another Major flop ...and McGinley tells McIlroy: Go away and clear your head

- By nEIL mcLEman @NeilMcLema­n

RORY McILROY has been told to hit the beach to clear his head after a latest bid to complete the career Grand Slam at The Masters ended on the rocks.

The World No.12 missed the cut at Augusta for the first time since 2010 following rounds of four-over-par 76 and 74.

And the Northern Irishman marked an unhappy 10th anniversar­y of his 2011 Masters meltdown – where he took a triple bogey on the 10th in the final round – by shanking his approach shot into bushes on the same hole on

Friday to take a doubleboge­y six.

Struggling McIlroy had struck his father, Gerry, with a wayward shot during his highest-ever Masters opening round.

His new coach Pete Cowen had warned not to “expect miracles” in only their second event working together – and he was proved right.

The four-time Major champion is next scheduled to play the Wells Fargo Championsh­ip starting on May 6 before the USPGA on May 20.

His last Major came in that event back in August 2014.

And Paul McGinley (below), McIlroy’s former Ryder Cup captain, said: “The best thing for Rory is probably a few weeks in the sunshine, down on a beach somewhere, to clear his head and come back at it again.

“Sometimes the harder you try this game the worse it gets – no matter how talented you are.” McIlroy, 31, admitted he lost his swing trying to chase the distance of bulked-up Bryson

DeChambeau. And legendary coach Butch Harmon questioned the timing of employing Cowen on the eve of The Masters.

The Sky Sports pundit (right) said: “Bad shots are part of the process when you change your swing.

“It works on the range, it works in practice but that doesn’t mean anything.

It’s always going to be tough and to make the change right before coming into a Major.

“Was that the right thing to do? I don’t know. He picked the right guy – Pete Cowen knows what he is doing that’s for sure. He’s had success with everybody he’s ever touched.”

And McIlroy admitted the rolling Augusta National course was a bad place to put his swing changes in action. He said: “Once you get on the course and you get these different lies and different shots and different winds, that’s the litmus test right there, and it still didn’t feel quite 100 per cent.”

Dustin Johnson missing the cut was a bigger shock – and the defending champion has to stay over the weekend to put the Green Jacket on the back of this year’s champion tonight.

He bogeyed three of his final four holes in his second round 75 and missed the cut by two shots.

“It was not very good,” admitted the world No.1 who shot a record score of 20-under par in November. “It was mostly just the putter. Six three-putts in two rounds, you just can’t do that. The three-putts killed me.”

Lee Westwood also finished on five over to end his run of 12-consecutiv­e cuts at The Masters.

 ??  ?? OFF THE MARK McIlroy missed the cut for first time since 2010
Was it right time to change his coach before a Major? Not sure
OFF THE MARK McIlroy missed the cut for first time since 2010 Was it right time to change his coach before a Major? Not sure

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