Dublin: 2°C Sunday 5 December 2021
Advertisement

Rory McIlroy blames 'too many stupid mental errors' after nightmare 79

The Northern Irish golfer is 13 shots adrift after a day to forget at Muirfield.

Rory McIlroy reacts to a wayward drive.
Rory McIlroy reacts to a wayward drive.
Image: AP Photo/Scott Heppell

RORY MCILROY CUT a disconsolate figure in the BBC’s interview suite after he signed off for a disastrous round of 79 that has all but quashed his hopes of winning The Open.

The Holywood native saw his opening round go from bad to worse as two double bogeys on the back nine turned a slow puncture into a blow-out.

He was unsure of his putting on the lightning fast greens, dried out by the fine weather in Scotland so far this month, and ran two par attempts left and wide of the hole on four and five. He battled back over the next four holes to hit the turn at +1 but the his scorecard was about to turn ugly.

10 and 11 were bogeyed as McIlroy struggled to land drives on the fairway and worse was to follow at the 12th. His iron approach to the green was short and to the left. His chip to the green checked at the top of a steep bank and slowly rolled back to within three yards of where McIlroy played the shot. He overhit the next chip and two-putted for a six.

A birdie followed on the par three 13th but the wheels came off over the closing stretch as a double bogey at 15 was followed by dropped shots on 17 and 18.

McIlroy told the BBC, “I had sloppy bogeys on four and five. I had a birdie on seven and had a chance to get to level par on nine but didn’t do it. There were a few too many loose shots and silly mental errors that cost me… I missed shots in bad places.”

He added, “They were stupis mental errors that I shouldn’t be making… The course is so fast and firm. If you’re not in total control of your golf ball out there, there’s going to be trouble.”

SEE SPORT
DIFFERENTLY

Get closer to the stories that matter with exclusive analysis, insight and debate in The42 Membership.

Become a Member

As of 3:20pm Dustin Johnson leads The Open on -5 after signing off for an impressive round of 66. While it is too early to be predicting cut-off marks, McIlroy may have to shoot 64 or 65 tomorrow to ensure he is there at the weekend.

Zach Johnson leads the way at The Open as McIlroy slumps to +8

Thomas Bjorn smashes a TV camera with his second shot

About the author:

Patrick McCarry

Read next:

COMMENTS (6)