Rory McIlroy at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational: What went wrong?
Last Updated: 29/07/19 3:13pm
It seems harsh to criticise somebody that's world No 3, making millions on the PGA Tour and a two-time winner this year, but we have to criticise Rory McIlroy sometimes because he's that good.
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There's something going on with McIlroy, as there's no doubt he is the most talented player in the world. It's like some sort of mental blockage that he needs to get rid of to free himself up.
Koepka secures Memphis victory
Report and highlights from Brooks Koepka's breakthrough win at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational.
You go back to last year at the Masters, when McIlroy was in the final group with Patrick Reed and with the chance to complete the Grand Slam, only for him to shoot over par on the final day as Reed won the Green Jacket.
Then it was the Tour Championship and the big Sunday showdown with Tiger Woods, where McIlroy finished over par again as Woods just swatted him away on his way to victory.
More recently at The Open, McIlroy arrived for the first round in Northern Ireland really wanting to play well in front of his own people, but then struggled to a 79 on the opening day on his way to missing the cut.
The same thing happened on the final day at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational, where he shot over par again, so there's an issue that he has to sort out. McIlroy is no ordinary talent and I don't think it's a golf problem that's the issue.
McIlroy would have been full of beans after his 62 during the third round, the lowest score from him ever in a World Golf Championship. If you shoot 62 around that golf course, one of the tougher ones used on the PGA Tour, then you're obviously playing really well.
The world No 3 up against the world No 1 was the highlight pairing that the tournament required, although after McIlroy missed the tiddler for birdie at the par-five third, it was all-but over.
Koepka didn't hole a putt at The Open and finished fourth, whereas he made a few putts in Memphis, kept the pressure on, and nobody could get to him. You can lose to Koepka, but it's the manner of the defeat that's the important part. The McIlroy charge just fizzled out and he didn't really have anything to take on Koepka.
Koepka is the best player in the world right now, it's as simple as that, and McIlroy's playing catch-up.