TALSA, Oklahoma – Rory McIlroy will regret the missed opportunity that was 104th PGA Championship.
He finished in 2-under 68 for a total of 72 holes 2-under 278. Another top 10 in a major and another major without a win. The four-time top winner is now 0-in-last-28.
This one stung. So much so that McIlroy left the South Hills without a word to the media. He turned down all requests, packed his bags, and left in his Cadillac company car.
McIlroy also stewed after Saturday’s round, brushing off the media. What could he say other than that he was probably worth his chance at the title. McIlroy took the lead on Thursday with 65 points. His stance is back. This was supposed to be the week he got one for the thumb and his fifth major title. On Friday, he hit only six fairways and went 1-over, failing to take full advantage of the game in better weather but hiding 4 short.
On Saturday, McIlroy made a double and triple bogey on par 3 and lost nearly 4 fielding shots on the green. He threw 74 shots – the eighth time in his last nine big starts that he had a 73 or under – and advanced to the final round nine shots behind 54-hole leader Mito Pereira.
It will take heroic effort to overcome his shortcoming. But like at the Masters in April, where he hit 64 final rounds to finish second to Scotty Sheffler, McIlroy came out hot on Sunday with nothing to lose. He dropped four birdies in a row starting at No. 2. He was 4 short and it seemed possible that he could score low and work his way to his fifth major title as the inexperienced group ahead of him succumbed to the pressure. .
McIlroy terrified the difficult sixth par-3 hole and the dream came true. He didn’t make a single bird all day. He hit 14 greens on Sunday, but too many times his bird shots were from long range and he kept them short when he couldn’t afford it. AT 12thhe ran for 361 yards with 92 yards to go to the green.
When he needed to make a birdie, McIlroy wedged in 15 feet. The fans applauded, but it was a modest effort and he failed to convert the shot. His wedge game is under development and continues to hold him back at critical moments. McIlroy made a scarecrow at 17, meaning he threw 2 overs on the last 13 holes when he was on the brink of contention. The only significant hit he made en route to home was an 11-footer at 18.
This added another missed opportunity and left McIlroy speechless.