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Another major slides by and the same question persists.

When will Rory McIlroy end his drought in golf’s career-defining tournaments?

McIlroy’s near-10 year wait goes on after a PGA Championship week that started with the bombshell news that he had filed for divorce and ends with him coming up short on the Kentucky site of his last major triumph back in 2014.

The Northern Irishman was too far back in Sunday’s final round to contend for his fifth major and will rue Friday’s level-par 71 on a Valhalla set-up that has seen his rivals feasting on birdies all week.

McIlroy won his last two PGA Tour events before this tournament, but a putter that was on fire in last week’s win at the Wells Fargo Championship turned stone cold and he was punished by more unforced errors at Valhalla.

His entertaining 67 on Sunday mixed seven birdies and three bogeys but even a course record wouldn’t have been enough to scare the leaders as he finished the week 12-under.

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So, what’s the problem that continues to plague McIlroy in majors? Well, his former Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley thinks he has some of the answers.

“There are two issues as to why he is not the player he was back then when it comes to major championships,” McGinley explained on the Golf Channel before McIlroy’s latest major bid.

“The fields are stronger now. Back then, he was a young guy forging his way, and his elbows were at their pointiest. It was really a case of, ‘I am on a march to be the top player in the game, so get out of my way.’

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“He had a clear vision. As you get there and climb the mountain, can you stay there? He has done that in PGA Tour events where his win ratio of 10 per cent is fantastic compared to anyone else. Even Scottie Scheffler has only a win ratio of 8 per cent.”

“But there is no doubt that there is a psychological build-up from not getting over the line in major championships since he hasn’t circumnavigated yet.

“I say yet because if he gets it once, I feel – maybe not – that there are certainly another three or four majors in Rory McIlroy.”

As is always the case with McIlroy and majors, another inquest will ensue. But the 35-year-old was still feeling optimistic as he takes a short break before another busy stretch.

“I’ve been on a big stretch of golf here,” he said after his final round. “I think this was my sixth event in seven weeks. “I’ve got a week off and then I’m playing another four in a row. I’m feeling good about my game.

“I feel like things are sort of clicking more, especially after the win in New Orleans. Obviously played well last week in Charlotte. “Have a week here to sort of reset and try to get going again.”

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Ben Parsons joined bunkered as a Content Producer in 2023 and is the man to come to for all of the latest news, across both the professional and amateur games. Formerly of The Mirror and Press Association, he is a member at Halifax Golf Club and is a long-suffering fan of both Manchester United and the Wales rugby team.

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