Rory McIlroy posted a three-under 68 on the final day at Royal Liverpool to finish tied-sixth with Emiliano Grillo, seven strokes behind winner Brian Harman; McIlroy remains without a major victory since his 2014 PGA Championship win
Last Updated: 23/07/23 6:36pm
Rory McIlroy has set his sights on more securing more FedExCup success and regaining the Ryder Cup for Team Europe after failing to end his major drought at The 151st Open.
The four-time major champion arrived at Royal Liverpool – where he won The Open when it was last held there in 2014 – as one of the pre-tournament favourites after following five consecutive top-10 finishes worldwide with an impressive victory at the Genesis Scottish Open on Sunday.
McIlroy failed to build on a fast start on the final day in Hoylake as he had to settle for a three-under 68, seeing him end the week on six under and in a share of sixth as Brian Harman cruised to a maiden major title.
“Over the last two years would I have loved to have picked one of those [majors] off that I finished up there? Absolutely,” McIlroy said. “But every time I tee it up or most times I tee it up, I’m right there.
“I can’t sit here and be too frustrated. You think about my performances in the majors between like 2016 and 2019, it’s a lot better than that. I’m optimistic about the future and just got to keep plugging away.
“I think about trying to go and win a fourth FedExCup here in a couple weeks’ time, go try and win a fifth Race to Dubai, go and win a fifth Ryder Cup. I just keep looking forward.”
The Open Verdict
July 24, 2023, 5:00pm
How McIlroy finished with another major top-five finish
Heading into the final round nine strokes off the pace, McIlroy opened with back-to-back pars and then began a Sunday charge when he holed from 50 feet at the tough third hole and converted from 15 feet at the next.
McIlroy took advantage of the par-five fifth to register a third straight birdie, which briefly lifted him to tied-second and within four of the lead when Harman bogeyed two of this opening five holes.
The Northern Irishman missed a 12-foot birdie chance at the ninth and failed to get up and down from off the green to save par at the tenth, which left him seven behind when Harman registered successive birdies from the sixth.
McIlroy made a 10-footer to save par at the 12th and slotted in from 15 feet to birdie the 14th, although was unable to take advantage of the par-five 15th and missed from seven feet to save par at the next.
The world No 2 responded by birdieing the new par-three 17th for the first time to get back to six under, with McIlroy off another frustrating week by having to lay up from the rough at the par-five last and two-putting from 25 feet for par.
“I got off to the ideal start again,” McIlroy told Sky Sports. “That’s sort of been what I’ve done basically every day, big putt on three and then follow that up with a couple of really well played holes on four and five.
“It’s just it’s hard to keep it going, as you can see out there the conditions are pretty difficult and tricky. You can make a few birdies here and there, but it’s just very, very difficult to go seven or eight under like I needed today to try to make a charge.”
What next for McIlroy?
The world No 2 will now enter a 10th year in pursuit of a fifth major title in 2024, although remains optimistic about his form heading into the FedExCup Playoffs next month and the Ryder Cup in Rome this September, when Europe will aim to avenge a 19-9 defeat in the 2021 edition.
“After what happened at Whistling Straits, personally for me, and then for the rest of the team, I don’t think we could more be more motivated to go to Rome and get that Ryder Cup back,” McIlroy added.
“A lot of golf to play individually and until then, but I think a lot of our attentions will turn to Rome after this.”
McIlroy will now take two weeks off before returning to action in the PGA Tour’s FedExCup Playoffs, live on Sky Sports. Watch the FedEx St Jude Championship from August 10-13 live on Sky Sports. Stream the biggest moments on NOW