What Went Wrong With Rory.

White Dragon GolfThe Masters

What went wrong with Rory McIlroy in the final round of The Masters?

Rory McIlroy with lifelong friend and caddie Harry Diamond during the 2018 Masters at Augusta.

Rory and Harry / getty

On a day when he had the opportunity to claim a Major Grand Slam, and was in contention early on, Rory sadly capitulated, signing for a final round +2 over par 74;

“It was like every time I took a step forward I took a step back on the next hole.” 

“And then when I did get some opportunities I didn’t take advantage of them. A tough day, but I’ll be back. And hopefully I’ll be better.”

The missing link is a professional experienced caddie,  J.P. Fitzgerald guided Rory  to four Major titles and to World #1 in the Official World Rankings.

No disrespect to current caddie Harry Diamond, who apart from being a lifelong friend of Rory, is a talented golfer in his own right, but he has not had enough experience to mentor one of the best players in the world to win a Major tournament. Especially one that would have given his player a Grand Slam of Majors.

These days the top elite caddies are practical psychologists who have a calming effect on their players. Having your best friend along and having fun is no way to approach a Major tournament. 

Not working at the moment is Steve Williams, who is the best caddie in the world, he partnered Tiger Woods for 13 years, winning 13 Major Championships, perhaps Rory should give him a call.

The Masters is a great tournament, but it is time to ditch those awful, disrespectful, racist caddie slave suits.

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The Masters. Patrick Reed Still Leads.

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Patrick Reed, USA, still leads The Masters, but he has some close company in the form of Rory McIlroy from Northern Ireland, at Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia.

The Masters

Patrick Reed / getty

Patrick completed a third round -5 under par 67 to stay at the top of The Masters leaderboard with a -14 under tournament total;

“It’s going to be electrifying”

“The fans are going to be ready to go, they are going to be ready to cheer for whoever is making putts, whoever is making birdies or pulling off shots.”

“It’s just going to be one of those days you just need to go out and be able to put your nose to the grind and just play some golf.”

Rory McIlroy is three shots back in second place at -11 under, he carded a wonderful bogey free third round -7 under 65 to put himself firmly in contention for the Green Jacket;

“There’s a lot more players in this tournament than just Patrick and I.”

“It won’t be quite as intense, but we’ll still be feeling it. Patrick is going for his first major, and I’m going for … something else.” (something else is completing the Grand Slam of Majors)

“I’m really excited to show Patrick Reed what I’ve got tomorrow.”

 “All the pressure’s on him. He went to Augusta State.”

“He has a lot of support around here. I’m hoping to come in and spoil the party.”

In third place is Rickie Fowler at -9 under par, he also carded a great bogey free -7 under par 65 today, it took discipline, especially the par save at the 11th;

“Definitely a special round of golf,”

“To just kind of stay disciplined and make a good par save there and move on,”

“I think that was kind of the big hole for the round today.”

Equaling the low round of the day score at -7 under par was Jon Rahm, Spain, who is in fourth place at -8 under for the competition.

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The Masters. Patrick Reed Leads.

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Patrick Reed, USA, leads The Masters at the half-way stage at Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia.

The Masters

Patrick Reed / getty

Patrick scored a second round -6 under par 66 to lead The Masters after 36 holes with a -9 under par total;

“Everyone wants to win Majors and if you don’t believe you can win them, then you probably shouldn’t be playing in them.”

“I believe that if I play the golf that I know how to play, that I can win Majors.”

“I have to go in and not get ahead of myself, just take it shot by shot, hole by hole, like I’ve been doing. There’s a lot of holes left and I just need to go out and keep to my game-plan, play some solid golf and just go out and continue shooting in the 60s and see if it gets the job done.”

“I don’t know how many times on putting greens I was like, all right, well, this putt is to win the Green Jacket.”

“It’s one of those things that all kids growing up think about, and to have the reality to be able to sit up here after Friday and having the lead in the tournament, it’s great.”

“But, you know, we’re only halfway. I’ve got a long way to go and just need to continue doing what I’m doing.”

Marc Leishman from Australia is alone in second place at -7 under par, with a second round -5 under 67, while Henrik Stenson, Sweden, holds third place at -5 under after his second round -2 under 70.

Rory McIlroy, Northern Ireland, -1 under 71, and Jordan SpiethUSA, +2 over par 74, are tied in fourth spot, both at -4 under par for the competition.

Rory is happy to be in contention;

“Being up there around the lead going into the weekend, it’s a good position to be in.”

“But I think I’m happier with how I’ve felt and how I’ve handled certain things and how my thought process has been. That’s been a pleasing thing.”

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The Masters. Jordan Spieth Stars.

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Jordan Spieth, USA, stars on day one of The Masters at Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia.

The Masters

Jordan Spieth / getty

Jordan carded a 1st round -6 under par 66, with a bogey five on the last hole after scoring five birdies on the trot, but leads The Masters by two shots;

“I’ll always have demons out here, but I’ll always have tremendous confidence out here.”

 “Once you’ve won out here, you have a tremendous advantage over those who haven’t.”

“I ended up having to make a really good bogey to post six under.”

“It’s up there with the top three rounds I’ve ever played here.”

Sharing second place at -4 under are Tony Finau and Matt Kuchar, both from the USA.

There is a large group at -3 under par, Henrik Stenson, Sweden, Adam Hadwin, Canada, Li Haotong, China, Rory McIlroy, Northern Ireland, Rafa Cabrera Bello, Spain, with Charley Hoffman and Patrick Reed from the USA.

Rory had to work hard on his last three holes to make par and keep his score intact;

“It’s not always the birdies that stick out in your mind. That downhill left‑to‑right that I had on 17, it was nice to see that go in.”

 “Everything worked.”

“You look at it and not anyone is really getting away.”

“Jordan had a pretty strong finish there but this is my best start in a few years and it’s such a hard golf course to play catch up on.”

“I drove it well, everything was really solid and if I can continue to play like that over the next three days, I’ll be pretty close.”

Li summed up his first appearance at The Masters;

“It’s quite unreal for myself and to be here, play golf here, it’s such a big honor.”

Defending Champion Sergio Garcia fell over, carding 13 at the par five 15th, making a few trips into the water, he finally signed for +9 over 81;

“It’s the first time in my career where I make a 13 without missing a shot.  Simple as that.”

 “I felt like I hit a lot of good shots and unfortunately the ball just didn’t want to stop.”

“It’s just unfortunate, but that’s what it is.”

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Dell Technologies Match Play. Elimination Day For Rory, Jordan and Phil.

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It was elimination day at the Dell Technologies Match Play at Austin Country Club in Texas, with Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, and Phil Mickelson taking the early plane home.

WGC Dell Technologies Match Play

Played 3 Won 3 Sergio Garcia / getty

 

Rory was defeated today by Brian Harman;

 “Obviously I tried to play as good as I could. And to end with a bit of pride.”

“I left myself behind the 8-ball after losing that first match and scrapped it back little bit.”

“Brian played great today. He made a few birdies and didn’t really make a mistake.”

Phil knows losing on day one is hard to overcome;

 “It feels good to come back and win these last two matches, even though I’m not advancing.”

“But it goes back to the first day. You need to be ready to play from Day 1, because the opportunity to be eliminated is there.”

“I played well today and made a lot of good birdies on the back nine. Rafa and I had a good match.”

Jordan is still having problems off the tee;

“I don’t think it would have been that tough to beat me today. I just didn’t have a really good day. You know, sometimes that happens. I just got a little off.”

“Yesterday I could feel it after the round with my driver. I went to the range, a set-up thing.”

“It kind of bit me on the first couple of holes today with a few out-of-play balls.”

“Patrick is a great competitor. I felt like I fought hard around the middle of that match and then I just didn’t quite have it today.”

Here is the list of the 16 qualifiers, and their matches for tomorrow;

USABrian Harman v Bubba Watson USA

THAKiradech Aphibarnrat v  Charles Howell IIIUSA

ESPSergio Garcia v Kyle Stanley USA

USAJustin Thomas v Si Woo Kim KOR

AUSCameron Smith v Tyrrell Hatton ENG

USAPatrick Reed v Alex Noren SWE

RSALouis Oosthuizen v Ian Poulter ENG

USAKevin Kisner v Matt Kuchar USA

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WGC. Dell Technologies Match-Play. Pool Play.

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After two days of Pool play in the WGC Dell Technologies Match-Play the only certain facts are about those who are not going to qualify for the week-end in Texas. They include World number one Dustin Johnson, USA, and Jon Rahm, from Spain.

WGC Dell Technologies Match-Play

Rory McIlroy / getty

Rory McIlroy, Northern Ireland, and Phil Mickelson, USA, both have to win tomorrow to have any chance of advancing.

Rory explained the difference between yesterday and today’s rounds;

“I didn’t make the mistakes early and let my opponent get up early. That was main difference.”

“I just know that if I win tomorrow, I’m staying here a little bit longer.”

“I’m more relaxed because I know my game is there. I have got a lot of great shots to fall back on, the good swings that I have made, putts that I have holed.”

Phil made a great comeback;

“Today I came out on the front nine and I made one birdie and one bogey and I was four down through seven.”

“You’ve got to make birdies. On the back nine I made five of them.”

“I’ve got to play more aggressive.”

“That’s shocking that I would say that, because I usually play pretty aggressive. But I’ve been playing way too conservative and not going after it.”

Sailing supremely along are 15 players who have played two, won two, and there will be a few matches out there tomorrow, which will have no meaning at all, because win or lose they can not advance.

Rory put the feelings of those players into words;

“You try to go out with the mindset that I’m going to maybe try things or if you are working on your golf swing, it’s a good round to take advantage of trying different things.”

 “But there’s going to be guys going out there tomorrow that would really just want to be on a plane tonight going home.”

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Arnold Palmer Invitational. Rory Romps Home.

White Dragon GolfArnold Palmer Invt'l

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland romps home to win the Arnold Palmer Invitational by three shots at Bay Hill Club & Lodge, in Orlando Florida.

Arnold Palmer InvitationalAPI Winner Rory

Rory saved his best round till last -8 under par 64 wins the Arnold Palmer Invitational by three shots at -18 under par his first victory since the Tour Championship on September. 25th, 2016, the day Arnold died;

“I wish I walked up that hill and got a handshake from him, but I’m so happy to put my name on that trophy.”

“I’ve seen Tiger make that enough times to know what it does, so I just wanted to try and emulate that.”

“Didn’t quite give it the hat toss, I was thinking about doing it.”

“But just to be able to create my own little bit of history on the 18th green here is pretty special.”

“Hopefully he’s proud of me with the way I played on the back nine and tried to be as aggressive as I could and tried to take on shots when I needed to, just like he would have.”

Bryson DeChambeau, USA, was second at -15 under par, -4 under 68 in the last round was never going to be enough to win;

“I thought fifteen under for sure would win today.”

 “Rory obviously played some incredible golf. I don’t know what he did on the last nine, but it was deep. I know that.”

Justin Rose, England, claimed third spot at -14 under par with a final round -5 under 67 and could only watch and wonder as Rory rolled in putt after putt;

“Rory played incredible golf and it was fun,  great to see world class players do that.”

 “It’s not great to see him make putts because he was making them against me.”

“But when he is making putts, he’s incredibly hard to beat. So it was fun to watch him play.”

Long time leader Henrik Stenson, Sweden, could only manage a -1 under 71 today, finishing in fourth spot at -13 under par.

Tied in fifth were Tiger Woods, -3 under 69 today and Ryan Moore, -1 under 71, both players at -10 under par, and both from the USA.

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