British Open 2019: Breaking down Rory McIlroy’s nightmare at Royal Portrush

first_img British Open 2019: David Duval cards a 14 (FOURTEEN!) on one hole Here we take a look at the breakdown of a major meltdown:HOLE 1 – THE NIGHTMARE STARTThe misery started with an out-of-bounds opening tee shot, which saw the cheers that greeted McIlroy onto the tee turn to gasps. His ball reportedly broke a spectator’s phone and he only fared slightly better with his next attempt off the tee, finding the rough. From there McIlroy landed in a bush, took another drop, chipped to within 8 feet but two-putted for an eight.Quadruple-bogey 8Rory McIlroy goes out of bounds with his opening tee shot.#TheOpen— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) July 18, 2019HOLES 3 & 5 – THE STRUGGLES CONTINUEAt the par-3 third, McIlroy landed in thick rough over the back of the green. The chip out left him a sizeable putt that failed to reach the hole, leading to another dropped shot. Things threatened to get drastically worse at the fifth when McIlroy’s errant tee shot was lost for a while behind a scoreboard screen. Having located his ball, McIlroy deposited it onto the green and almost made birdie, but had to settle for a scrappy par.HOLES 7 & 9 – THE RECOVERY BEGINS?At long last, some respite for Rory. He made his first gain of a difficult day at the seventh, a new hole for this championship, and followed it up with another birdie at the ninth to make the turn in 39.HOLE 12 – THE UP AND DOWNAfter achieving something resembling consistency for a good few holes, McIlroy’s blemish-free run was under serious threat at the par-5 12th. He was buried in the rough to the left side of the green and could not control his third shot, which scuttled across the putting surface and off the other side. A tidy up-and-down ensured no damage was done.Listen to the [email protected] is starting to fight his way back into this— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) July 18, 2019HOLE 16 – THE LATE SETBACK Despite being 3-over with three to play, McIlroy still had hopes of climbing back into a respectable position and had not dropped a shot since the third hole. But there was another gut punch to come for the 30-year-old, who three-putted from inside 5 feet for a double bogey at 16, the hole known as Calamity Corner.HOLE 18 – THE FINAL HUMILIATIONThe 18th hole provided one last dose of humiliation for McIlroy as he closed out with a triple-bogey seven. A miscued drive, a poor approach, a tentative putt — not one part of his game was firing as he carded a 79 to resign himself to a fifth full season without a major win, because surely there would be no way back from this. As far less storied players made significantly easier work of the course and conditions, McIlroy toiled to an 8-over 79.It was a study in the damage nerves can do to even the best this sport has to offer. Related Newscenter_img British Open 2019: Rory McIlroy starts with disastrous quadruple-bogey eight PORTRUSH, Northern Ireland — Rory McIlroy was the pre-tournament favorite at Royal Portrush, but his British Open hopes went up in smoke after one hole.Having been the focus of intense scrutiny in the build-up to the tournament on home soil, the Northern Irishman appeared to let the pressure get to him during Thursday’s opening round.last_img