Monday 20 November 2017

McIlroy sticks around to iron out the flaws

Rory McIlroy walks from the practice area at Carton House yesterday
Rory McIlroy walks from the practice area at Carton House yesterday

Gareth Naughton

Rory McIlroy might have failed to make the cut at the Irish Open but he stuck around to iron out the flaws in his game.

The world number two, who is struggling with poor form, had another practice session on the Carton House golf course in Maynooth, Co Kildare, yesterday before departing for Monaco to see girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki.

More than 24,000 fans poured on to the course for the final day of the Irish Open yesterday.

In mid-afternoon, the heavens opened sending torrential rain across the course but nothing could dampen the enthusiasm of those who watched former Ryder Cup player Paul Casey, from England, secure victory.

"The atmosphere is wonderful," said Katriona Cunningham, who travelled from Lucan, Dublin, with her daughter Sarah (11) and son Michael (8).

McIlroy said he had "a very productive two days" of practice as he fights to rediscover the form which put him on top of the world.

"Can't wait to get home to Monaco with @CaroWozniacki! #sunseaandpractice," he tweeted.

The former world number one tennis player lives in Monaco, while her boyfriend recently bought a home at Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.


The poor performance of McIlroy and his fellow Major winners had a big impact on attendance at this year's event, which drew just over 86,000 punters – down 26,000 from 2012 when it was held at Royal Portrush in Co Antrim.

After the early departures of McIlroy, Padraig Harrington, Graeme McDowell and Darren Clarke, hundreds of people followed Offaly man Shane Lowry, who eventually finished fifth.

"All week the crowd have been brilliant, especially yesterday and today. They have just been roaring for me, every single one of them. I owe a lot to them," Lowry said.


Irish Independent

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