Rory McIlroy frustrated after his latest near-miss

Rory Mc Ilroy

Not for the first time in this particular part of the Middle East, Rory McIlroy was left to ponder what might have been after finishing third in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

Making his first appearance of 2021, the four-time major champion entered the final round with a one-shot advantage In the opening event of the new European Tour season.

However, after a bright start he laboured to a level-par 72, which left the door ajar for playing partner Tyrrell Hatton to swoop in and steal the victory beneath the magnificent 'Falcon' clubhouse.

• WATCH - Pro tries weirdest grip we've ever seen

• New coach but no gear deal for former world No.1

In 11 starts in Abu Dhabi, McIlroy now has four runner-up finishes and a further four third place finishes. He has also finished in a tie for fifth and 11th. Clearly, it’s a course that suits him.

However, his inability to convert from a winning position and end a winless drought that now stretches back 15 months left him frustrated.

“I started great with two birdies in the first three [holes],” said the Northern Irishman. “And then I felt like there was a few putts I hit today, the wind affected the putts more than maybe the last couple days.

“I don't feel like I played great this week. I felt like I was managing my game a bit. Nice to get a competitive week under my belt and see where my game is and what I need to do to keep on improving.”

• "It's not right" - Pro hits out at English ban

McIlroy now faces the gruelling prospect 8,500-mile trip to California for this week’s Farmers Insurance Open. Top of the 'to do' list when he arrives at Torrey Pine will surely be to find a fix for his wayward long game.

Despite being third in Driving Distance in Abu Dhabi, averaging 323 yards off the tee, he was slap bang in the middle of the pack for Driving Accuracy, finding the fairway only 40.48% of the time.

• Rory weighs in on Justin Thomas controversy

• Thomas 'upset' to be dropped by Ralph Lauren

“I thought for the most part of the week, my short game and my putting was good,” he added. “I scrambled well. Had some pretty good approach shots, especially last night coming down the last few holes. I thought there was parts of rounds where I got the driver going, even the last few holes this evening there I got the driver going a little bit.

“But still, sometimes I'll have a few holes where it's like that and there's a few holes where it sort of gets away from me. So, a little more consistency and being able to replicate the good ones hole after hole and then day after day until you sort of put four rounds together.”

Share this Article

share-logo
twitter-logo facebook-logo

Latest Videos See all videos right arrow

play button
THE ARRAN GOLF MARATHON - EPISODE 1
Arran Golf Marathon
play button
HOW DO THE NEW TITLEIST T-SERIES IRONS PERFORM?
Titleist
play button
HAS TITLEIST MADE BIG IMPROVEMENTS? | T-Series irons review
Titleist
play button
PLAYING THE OLD COURSE AT ST ANDREWS | AN EPIC EXPERIENCE
Callaway Golf
See all videos right arrow

Golf News

Justin Thomas “disappointed” with 2021 season
Jordan Spieth "very highly likely" to play 2022 Scottish Open
Bryson DeChambeau says he “doesn’t need” COVID-19 vaccine
Solheim hopeful out to influence captain Catriona Matthew
Women’s Olympic golf facing weather threat

Other Top Stories

Tiger Woods: Inside his $41million Florida mansion
The very best pubs in St Andrews
The Scottish Golf Course Emoji Quiz!
24 lies every bad golfer tells
Doug Sanders: The extraordinary life of golf's original playboy

Quick Fault 'n' Fixes See all videos right arrow

play button
Keep your left arm straight
Watch
play button
Get your takeaway on the correct plane
Watch
play button
Fix your slice with Denis Pugh
Watch
play button
Commit to each swing
Watch
See all videos right arrow