McIlroy reveals why he tore his shirt after his Dubai finish

Rory McIlroy shot a six-under par 66 in the opening round of the Hero World Challenge to tie for the top spot alongside Mexico’s Abraham Ancer and American Daniel Berger. — Supplied photo
Rory McIlroy shot a six-under par 66 in the opening round of the Hero World Challenge to tie for the top spot alongside Mexico’s Abraham Ancer and American Daniel Berger. — Supplied photo

Bahamas - The Northern Irishman lost the DP World Tour Championship while leading by two shots with four holes to play, a couple of weeks ago



By Joy Chakravarty

Published: Fri 3 Dec 2021, 5:18 PM

Rory McIlroy opened up about his frustrating finish at the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai’s Jumeirah Golf Estates, where he lost the tournament while leading by two shots with four holes to play a couple of weeks ago.

The Northern Irishman bounced back once again from a heartbreak, shooting six-under par 66 in the opening round of the Hero World Challenge last night and tying for the top spot alongside Mexico’s Abraham Ancer and American Daniel Berger.

McIlroy was leading the European Tour’s season-ending championship in Dubai when a gorgeous second shot on the 15th hole hit the flag and rolled back into the bunker from where he made a bogey. He then closed with two bogeys in his last three holes to drop down to 12-under par, while American Collin Morikawa triumphed on 17-under par after making five birdies in his last seven holes.

Following the round, the 32-year-old four-time major champion ripped his T-short in anger. The pictures went viral and led to several memes on the internet.

At the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas, McIlroy said: “It’s fine. What I was angry about was how I reacted to the bad break. It did not have anything to do with the bad break, or the fact I didn’t win the golf tournament. Even if I didn’t have that bad break, there was no telling that I was going to win the golf tournament, because Collin played great in the end.

“It was just my reaction to that bad break that made me angry, because I basically lost my head after that and made a bogey on the 16th. I was angrier at how I responded to the whole thing. The fact that I didn’t win the tournament was totally fine.”

In Thursday’s opening round, McIlroy could have gone down the same path after a decent start of three-under through eight holes got derailed by a double bogey on the par-5 ninth hole, where he smashed his second shot into the water.

However, he came in five-under par, including a chip-in for eagle two on the par-4 14th hole.

“I was trying to ride my luck a little bit. On the ninth, I pulled my tee shot but got away with it. I had enough club to get there in two, so I was trying to pull a shot off and I did not and ended up making a double from it. Really happy with how I responded on the back nine after that.

“It was a nice little response to something that wasn’t quite a mental error. I mean, I committed to the shot, I just didn’t make a great swing. This game is the ficklest of fickle.”

McIlroy was unhappy not to have exploited the five par-5s of Albany. He birdied the third hole, but with the bogey on the ninth, he was even par for the par-5s.

“I think I played well enough to shoot a better score than that. Especially as I played the par-5s in even par. I should be taking care of those par-5s, so that’s something I’m going to need to do over the next three days because I can’t rely on doing what I did today. I made three 2s out there, one on a par 4. I need to take care of the par 5s just to make it a little more stress-free.”

American Justin Thomas made a double bogey on the tough finishing hole to drop down to five-under par 67, where he was joined in tied fourth place by Webb Simpson and Brooks Koepka.


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