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Tuesday, June 11, 2024

U.S. Open: Rory McIlroy is as ‘shut as ever’ to profitable fifth main

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Rory McIlroy returns to Pinehurst No. 2 this week for the 124th U.S. Open, 10 years after his final main championship triumph.

Earlier than profitable the 2014 Open and PGA Championships, McIlroy tied for twenty third at Pinehurst. However since then, McIlroy has come up brief at majors loads of instances. He has 19 prime 10s, 9 prime fives, and three runner-ups. These are nice finishes, however he nonetheless solely has 4 main victories.

“Getting my fingers on a fifth main has taken fairly some time, however I’m extra assured than ever that I’m proper there, that I’m as shut as I’ve ever been,” McIlroy mentioned.

With two victories in 2024, McIlroy has gotten higher because the season progressed. At Valhalla for the PGA Championship, he tied for twelfth. Since then, he tied for twelfth on the RBC Canadian Open and posted one other tie for twelfth at the Memorial.

Rory McIlroy, U.S. Open

Rory McIlroy throughout a Tuesday observe spherical on the 2024 U.S. Open.
Picture by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Photographs

This week marks his sixteenth U.S. Open begin. In his earlier 15 appearances, McIlroy made the minimize 10 instances. In his final 5 U.S. Opens, the Northern Irishman has turned in wonderful performances. He completed second a 12 months in the past after which tied for fifth, seventh, eighth, and ninth within the 4 years prior. Earlier than that, McIlroy missed three cuts in a row at this main.

“Explosiveness isn’t going to win a U.S. Open,” McIlroy mentioned.

“I might say embracing the tough situations, the type of golf wanted to contend at a U.S. Open, and endurance. Embracing what I might have known as ‘boring’ again within the day. Methodically constructing your rating over the course of 4 days and being okay with that. It’s extra reframing a mindset than anything.”

He has missed the minimize at a serious simply twice within the final 5 years: the 2019 Open Championship and the 2023 Masters. Outdoors of that, he completed outdoors the highest 25 solely thrice.

However his main drought continues to get older. Now at 10 years, the critics appear to be chirping louder than ever.

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“I’m happy with my physique of labor over the previous 15 years and all the pieces that I’ve achieved, whether or not it’s season-long titles, particular person tournaments or majors,” McIlroy added.

U.S. Open, Rory McIlroy

Picture by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Photographs

“I need to win as many golf tournaments as I can. I need to attempt to compete and win as many majors as I can. I believe the one factor about attempting to choose a quantity is that you just’re setting your self up for failure or disappointment.”

McIlroy remains to be younger, so he believes he has loads of time to attain extra on the PGA Tour. Nonetheless, altering his mindset in the previous couple of years appears to have made him extra appreciative of his profession.

“If somebody informed me at 20 years outdated, I’d be sitting right here at 35, and that is the profession I’ve had, I might not have believed them, and I might have been ecstatic,” he mentioned.

“I nonetheless prefer to assume I’ve bought an excellent run forward. No matter these numbers are, regardless of the totals add as much as, I’ll settle for that and really feel like I’ve finished fairly nicely for a little bit boy from Northern Eire who dreamed of taking part in golf for a dwelling in the future.”

For the primary two rounds of the U.S. Open, McIlroy will play alongside the 2024 PGA Championship winner Xander Schauffele and Scottie Scheffler, who has gained 5 instances already this season. The trio tees off Thursday at 1:14 p.m. ET and Friday at 7:29 a.m. ET.

Savannah Leigh Richardson is a golf workers author for SB Nation’s Taking part in By means of. For extra golf protection, observe us @_PlayingThrough on all main social platforms. You can too observe her on Twitter @SportsGirlSL and Instagram @savannah_leigh_sports.



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