FARMINGDALE, N.Y. – Given that he had one foot out the door Friday afternoon, Rory McIlroy was pleased with the progress he showed at the PGA Championship despite finishing the week over par.
McIlroy was 7 over at one point during his second round before rallying with four birdies over his final six holes to salvage a made cut. He built on that momentum over the weekend despite being well out of range of catching Brooks Koepka, shooting consecutive rounds of 1-under 69 to finish the week at 1 over and inside the top 20.
It’s not what he had hoped for upon arrival at Bethpage, but there were plenty of positives for the Ulsterman given how high his score ballooned at one point.
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“Stuck at it the whole way. It’s a 72-hole golf tournament, and you’ve got to try until the very end and I did that this week,” McIlroy said. “It wasn’t good enough to be up there in contention, but I made improvements each and every day which is a good thing.”
McIlroy’s hopes for a third PGA title ended during the opening round, when he didn’t make a birdie until his final hole of the day. He played his first three holes in 5 over Friday before rebounding to play the next 51 in 6 under. He explained that his goal entering the final round was to reach the top 10, and he was T-13 upon signing his card.
He’ll stay busy in the coming weeks, playing both the Memorial Tournament and RBC Canadian Open before heading to the U.S. Open, where he’ll look to make the cut for the first time since Chambers Bay in 2015.
“My record in the U.S. Open hasn’t been very good the last few years, so I wanted to mix it up a little bit,” McIlroy said. “Looking forward to that run of golf and looking forward to getting my game sharp and in good shape for that major.”