There is never a dull Sunday when Rory McIlroy is at St. Andrews.
The world No. 2 faced an eight-shot deficit as it headed for the first tee at the Old Course on Sunday morning, but was only four shots behind a trio of players who let the T-2 through 54 holes.
When overnight leader Richard Mansell, who was aiming for his first DP World Tour win, hit his first nine, McIlroy was within range of leader Ryan Fox as he teed for par-5 14.th.
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A perfect tee shot left the Northern Irishman approaching about 260 yards from the middle of the fairway to the front right flag. McIlroy deployed his longest iron, heading towards the middle of the course when it ricocheted off one of the steep slopes for which Scottish golf is so well known.
McIlroy’s ball finally came to rest in the green bunker to the left and left of 14th green and he couldn’t handle the difficult ups and downs, he had to settle for a demoralizing par on an achievable par 5.
“Today I played well again,” McIlroy said after his 6-66 final round. “I didn’t make a birdie at 14, which sort of stopped my momentum. It was a little struggle along the way. I ended up being two or three times behind my target.”
After a stretch where McIlroy hit six of nine holes midway through his round, the four-time major champion stopped par 14s, 15s and 16s before heading for two of golf’s most famous holes.
Pulled tee shot at 17th left McIlroy entering par 4 due to an unfortunate angle in the left rough. As soon as he touched the second shot, he could be heard saying in disgust, “The only place you can’t hit,” and he was right. The approach took one bounce and dived into a Road Hole bunker close to the green.
McIlroy didn’t have a chance to make his third shot on the green after his ball came to rest next to the devil’s green bunker, deciding to pitch to the left of the green. He will rise and fall from there for his scarecrow, but the damage has been done and the return has not taken place.
FedExCup champion and current DP World Tour points leader cleared short par-4 18thbut it was too little, too late, for McIlroy lost again at the Old Course.