Monday 23 October 2017

Rory McIlroy misses cut again

Rory McIlroy
Rory McIlroy

Press Association

Rory McIlroy has sentenced himself to hard labour after a second successive missed cut and an admission it may have been caused by off-course distractions.

The world number one crashed out of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth on Friday night joint 133rd in a field of 150 - his worst-ever performance in Europe.

"I think I might have taken my eye off the ball a little bit," said the boyfriend of former tennis number one Caroline Wozniacki."I'll just have to go and really work hard and get it back to the level that it was at earlier in the year. Maybe it's just not practising as hard as I might have been."

McIlroy also made an early exit from the Players Championship in Florida a fortnight ago and has only one more event - next week's Memorial in Ohio - before his defence of the US Open.

He went on: "I'll just have to think long and hard about it, have a good chat with my team and make sure that I'm ready for the next few events. Pretty much everything went wrong and it's probably a good thing that I have the next two days off to practise and get my game a little sharper.

"I don't think it's much. I think it's just putting in the time on the range. I don't think it will be hard to fix. I just need to hit a lot of balls and get comfortable with my game again.

"It's not nice to play like this and not nice to play like this two weeks in a row. I just feel I've lacked competitive rounds maybe a little bit. I'm still confident in my abilities, but this is a week that I would like to forget."

It also included a club-throwing show of frustration - a European Tour fine is likely for that - and on Friday a spectator needed treatment after being cut on the head by one of his many wayward shots.

Only a birdie at the par-five last prevented an 80, the score he took in the second round of the 2000 Open at St Andrews and last year's final round in The Masters at Augusta.

Both of those came when he was leading. This time it followed an opening four and meant a nine-over-par total - 21 strokes behind leader James Morrison. He missed the cut by four in the Players Championship and by eight at Wentworth.

Open champion Darren Clarke also bowed out - he has still to survive a cut all year - and so did Graeme McDowell, Padraig Harrington and Paul Casey, clearly a long way from fully recovered from the shoulder dislocation he suffered snowboarding on Christmas Eve.

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