Deflated Rory McIlroy after more major misery: "Not bad with how I'm feeling"

Rory McIlroy says he feels 'so close but so far' after another major championship disappointment. 

Ben Smith's picture
Mon, 22 May 2023
Deflated Rory McIlroy after more major misery: "Not bad with how I'm feeling"

Rory McIlroy says he feels 'so close but so far away' after his nine-year major drought continued. 

McIlroy, 34, came into the 2023 PGA Championship at Oak Hill fighting his swing after a brutal Masters shattered his confidence. 

His miserable display at Augusta National led to the Northern Irishman taking a break from the game.

Controversially, he was fined millions of dollars after he decided to skip one of the PGA Tour's designated events.

Those bumper prize purse events jam-packed with the biggest stars in men's professional golf were created in response to LIV Golf

McIlroy, along with Tiger Woods, has led the tour's response to their Saudi-backed rival. 

The Ulsterman was one of the biggest voices urging his fellow PGA Tour superstars to play together more often. 

"If I'm willing to do this, then others should be," McIlroy was quoted as saying during the Netflix documentary Full Swing. 

Fast-forward to 21 May 2023 and McIlroy has posted another top-10 finish in a major. 

He began his week appearing to want to make a conscious effort to avoid talking about the breakaway tour going forward

Perhaps he felt this approach might yield to some success on the course but it was not to be for the four-time major champion. 

McIlroy finished as many as seven strokes back of champion Brooks Koepka, who landed the first major championship victory for LIV Golf and the fifth of his career. 

He said:

"At Augusta, all I think about is winning, winning, winning, to try to win that green jacket, and you know, I sort of -- I then don't really think about just playing a tournament and the cadence that goes along with getting into rounds and whatever."

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McIlroy said he felt as though he didn't need his best stuff to compete, but he needed his A game to win. 

"Yeah, look, I'll look back on this week as proud of how I hung in there, and I guess my attitude and sticking to it, not having my best stuff," he said. 

He added: 

"I feel sort of close but also so far away. [Before] the tournament started, [if] someone said, 'You're going to finish T-7 this week,' I would say, actually, that's probably not a bad week for me with how I'm feeling about everything." 

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