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A rollercoaster year ended on a disappointing note for Rory McIlroy at the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai – and it looks like his shirt bore the brunt of his frustrations.
The four-time major champion blew a gilt-edged chance to win the European Tour season finale, faltering badly down the stretch to hand Open champion Collin Morikawa the title.
McIlroy’s troubles began on the 15th when his approach cannoned off the flagstick and ricocheted into a bunker. He failed to get up and down from there, before three-putting at the 16th.
When he found water with his second shot on the 18th, his hopes of winning the tournament for a third time were gone.
He ultimately signed for a two-over 74 to finish on 12-under-par – five behind Morikawa who, by contrast, was a model of control and consistency in his six-under 66.
BREAKING NEWS .. @McIlroyRory raging post final round 74 @dpwtc @EuropeanTour— Golf & Science News (@TOURMISS) November 21, 2021
Frustration boils over with Rory tearing his @nikegolf shirt heading to scorer's hut 😮😱@IrishGolferMag @Record_Sport @Golf_Grinder pic.twitter.com/Qw7zYWuuw8
McIlroy declined to speak to the media afterwards but a photo of him shared on social media appeared to show the extent of his frustration.
The four-time major champion is seen standing at a window with his Nike polo shirt ripped open. According to those on-site, he tore it on his way to the recorder’s hut.
McIlroy has endured an uneven 2021. Despite wins in the Quail Hollow Championship and CJ Cup, he was a non-factor in the majors, extending his winless drought in the game’s marquee events into an eighth year.
He has also struggled for consistency – a fact reinforced by his Strokes Gained statistics – and admitted to losing his way after attempting to emulate Bryson DeChambeau’s in the quest for greater distance off the tee.
His frustrations were plain for all to see during the Ryder Cup in September where he cut an emotional figure after winning his singles match match with Xander Schauffele on the Sunday.
Last week, he announced his split from coach Pete Cowen, only eight months after teaming up with him.
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