Rory McIlroy’s final round at The Open on Sunday was the definition of disappointing, and it had everything to do with his ice-cold putter.
McIlroy began the day tied with Viktor Hovland atop the leaderboard, four shots clear of the rest of the field. He went out on Sunday and shot a bogey-free, 2-under 70, and ultimately beat Hovland by four shots yet didn’t hoist the Claret Jug at St. Andrews.
Cam Smith reeling off five straight birdies on the back nine en route to a 64 had a lot to do with McIlroy not winning his first major since 2014. So too did McIlroy’s inability to make one single putt.
McIlroy managed to hit every green in regulation on Sunday and finished the day with 36 putts. He’s the first 54-hole leader in major history to hit all 18 greens on Sunday and not win.
Talk about an absolutely brutal stat to have attached to your name.
The green sizes at St Andrews are giant, of course, which should be considered part of the equation.— Justin Ray (@JustinRayGolf) July 17, 2022
When we look back at the 2022 Open three days from now, or even three years from now, the first thing that will come to mind is just how great Smith was down the stretch. Sure, some jabs will be thrown in McIlroy’s direction, but only the biggest of golf nerds will remember that he hit 18 greens on Sunday and still lost.
Nevertheless, McIlroy quite literally creating his own stat en route to a loss is a tough, tough scene.
A cold putter finds its way into everyone’s golf bag and it entered Rory’s at the worst time possible.
Follow Mark Harris on Twitter: @itismarkharris
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