August 8, 2022

Rory McIlroy was left to surprise when he’ll finish his wait to say an elusive fifth main title after seeing the British Open slip from his grasp in a dramatic closing spherical at St Andrews on Sunday.

The Northern Irishman had been in a share of the lead in a single day alongside Norway’s Viktor Hovland and reached the flip in his fourth spherical in entrance on his personal by a margin of two strokes.

A primary main since 2014 appeared a certainty at that time and he went on to submit a bogey-free 70 to complete on 18 below par for the week.

Nevertheless, it was in the end in useless as Cameron Smith surged away with a 64 to take the Claret Jug on 20-under.

“On the finish of the day, it isn’t life or dying. I am going to produce other possibilities to win the Open Championship and different possibilities to win majors,” McIlroy insisted.

“It is one which I really feel like I let slip away, however there can be different alternatives.”

Rory McIlroy walks up the 18th at St Andrews throughout his closing spherical within the British Open on Sunday Photograph: AFP / Andy Buchanan

Whereas Smith went on a exceptional run of 5 straight birdies from the tenth on Sunday, McIlroy noticed a sequence of birdie putts come up agonisingly brief or simply miss.

He ended up having to accept third place after additionally seeing Cameron Younger climb above him to complete because the runner-up and take half 1,000,000 {dollars} extra in prize cash.

“I am going to rue a couple of missed putts that slid by. However it’s been a very good week general,” McIlroy insisted.

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“I can not be too despondent due to how this 12 months has gone. I am taking part in among the finest golf I’ve performed in a very long time. So it is only a matter of conserving knocking on the door, and ultimately one will open.”

The 33-year-old had arrived in St Andrews because the favorite, partially due to his standing but in addition due to his very good kind this 12 months.

McIlroy was the runner-up behind Scottie Scheffler within the Masters in April, got here eighth on the PGA Championship at Southern Hills in Could, after which tied fifth eventually month’s US Open.

He additionally received the Canadian Open simply earlier than heading to Brookline.

McIlroy's major drought will extend into a ninth year after Cameron Smith pipped him in the final round of the Open on Sunday McIlroy’s main drought will prolong right into a ninth 12 months after Cameron Smith pipped him within the closing spherical of the Open on Sunday Photograph: AFP / Andy Buchanan

There’s a sturdy case to say that McIlroy has been essentially the most constant participant anyplace this 12 months, even when he fell simply brief within the majors.

“I’ve simply acquired to maintain placing myself in place, maintain placing myself in there. And everytime you put your self in that shining mild, you are going to need to cope with setbacks and cope with failures,” he stated after coming off the Outdated Course on Sunday.

“Right now is a type of occasions. However I simply need to mud myself off and are available once more and maintain working onerous and maintain believing.”

He appeared unstoppable within the early years of his profession, when he romped to victory within the US Open in 2011, cruised to victory within the PGA Championship the next 12 months after which received the British Open at Hoylake in 2014 earlier than including one other PGA title a couple of weeks later.

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Extremely, his main drought since then goes to increase right into a ninth 12 months, though he has now had 9 top-five finishes in majors within the intervening interval.

“I have been shut and I maintain knocking on the door. I can not get too down on myself as a result of the sport is there. It is only a matter of staying affected person,” he stated.

There’s positive to be an adrenaline comedown after this week, and with the foremost season now over for 2022, McIlroy plans a brief break earlier than the FedEx Cup playoffs subsequent month, beginning with the St Jude Championship in Memphis, Tennessee.

“I’ve acquired three weeks off. I am not going to play once more till the primary playoff occasion in Memphis,” he stated.

“I’ve acquired a little bit of time to relaxation and recuperate and attempt to take the positives, study from the negatives, and transfer on.

“It is among the finest seasons I’ve had in a very long time. I wish to end the season off properly.

“There’s nonetheless some golf to play. Main season is over sadly, however I nonetheless really feel like there’s a little bit bit to play for.”