The Open: What Rory McIlroy needs to eradicate after missed cut
Last Updated: 19/07/19 9:57pm
Paul McGinley discusses an unexpected early exit from Rory McIlroy at The Open and looks at what Shane Lowry needs to do over the weekend.
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We've seen so much of this from Rory McIlroy, particularly in majors, where he gets himself out of contention and then he gets unburdened with expectation and runs through the field.
Sometimes it results in him ending up in the top 10 and sometimes, like today, it results in a very heroic performance where he just misses the cut. That's what he's trying to eradicate from his game, is that ability to get out in the first place.
Golf is a game of consistency played over four rounds, and as great of a player McIlroy is, he has to perform over all four rounds. The carelessness of the missed putt on 16 during the opening has come back to haunt him and this game has a way of doing that to you, so that's what McIlroy has to change.
I've said it before that McIlroy's like the brightest kid in the class who has the tendency to daydream every now and then. When he performs at his best he doesn't daydream, but when he misses out - like he has done this week - it's usually two or three little pockets during the week where he falls asleep.
The gold standard of a competitor is Tiger Woods and at his best there was no quarter given and everything was 101 per cent. He never had those slips of concentration when he was at his peak and that's what McIlroy has got to aspire to.
I'm glad to see the real McIlroy coming out in his post-round interview. I thought he was very emotional, very honest and it was very humble of him to say sorry for not being more of a part of it.
He played with his heart today and gave everything he had, which was pure theatre. I know we are focusing on a player missing the cut but rightly so, as over the last two and a half hours, when he was trying so hard to get over the line, he was ten out of ten.
Shane Lowry shares the lead and often lives in the shadow of McIlroy because Rory has been so stellar in his career, but Lowry has built up a great CV by winning events all around the world.
He is highly regarded amongst his peers and has so much talent but, like so many at this level where everybody plays so well, the determining factor is that ability to concentrate and have focus.
We saw that from Lowry in the first 10 holes but didn't see it over the closing holes. I know it's difficult, I know it's an Open Championship and means so much, but that's what's going to be the biggest challenge for him over the weekend.
Watch The 148th Open throughout the weekend live on Sky Sports' dedicated channel. Live coverage continues on Saturday from 9am on Sky Sports The Open.