ORLANDO, Fla. — The door Rory McIlroy retains knocking on refuses to open. Positive, it might assist if the four-time main champion did extra to barge by means of it, however he has maintained a modest, virtually stately method to including match to his assortment, solely to return up empty.
Sunday supplied one other instance on the Arnold Palmer Invitational, the place for the ninth time over the previous 14 months, McIlroy performed effectively sufficient to earn a spot within the last group, solely to see another person celebrating a victory.
To make sure, reigning Open champion Francesco Molinari put a quantity on him Sunday, taking pictures an Eight-under-par 64 at Bay Hill to return from 5 strokes again of third-round chief Matt Fitzpatrick.
It was the identical rating McIlroy shot at this match a 12 months in the past to win — a victory that occurs to be his final anyplace on the planet.
Then once more, making simply two birdies and taking pictures even-par 72 on a day if you end up within the final group was not going to get it accomplished. McIlroy ended up 4 pictures behind Molinari, that means a 68 was essential to power a playoff. Whereas not simple, it was actually doable — 10 gamers equaled or bettered that rating on Sunday.
British Open champion Francesco Molinari rolled in a 45-foot birdie putt on the ultimate gap at Bay Hill that capped off an Eight-under 64, taking him from 5 pictures behind to a two-shot victory Sunday within the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
Tiger Woods seems able to return to motion on the Gamers Championship after lacking the Arnold Palmer Invitational with a neck pressure.
Phil Mickelson’s 78 Friday on the Arnold Palmer Invitational has given him pause about taking part in in subsequent week’s Gamers Championship.
“Robust day, powerful to get it near the outlet,” McIlroy stated. “I really feel like I actually did not play that badly. I missed a few pictures, however I felt like I used to be hitting good pictures to 30 toes all day.”
McIlroy got here into the week having completed among the many prime 5 in all of his 2019 begins. His tie for sixth broke that streak however nonetheless offers him a powerful run of tournaments, albeit with no victory. It is actually higher than the plight of, say, Jordan Spieth, who has not been higher than 35th in his previous eight worldwide begins.
So it is all relative. Is it higher to contend and fail than to by no means contend in any respect?
McIlroy, ranked sixth on the planet, wasn’t displaying any indicators of annoyance coming into the match, seemingly taking his shut calls in stride and recognizing that the larger image means that good golf in some unspecified time in the future will likely be rewarded.
“You are not going to get annoyed taking part in good golf,” he stated. “On the finish of the day, all you are attempting to do is get that ball within the gap. In the event you really feel such as you’re doing that fairly effectively, then what’s there to be annoyed about?”
There have been understandably some indicators of it Sunday. His birdie on the 16th was the one one on a par-5 within the last spherical, and it was disappointing given he had a makeable eagle putt. He missed a 5-footer for birdie on the fourth, however there weren’t sufficient practical probabilities. He additionally ranked simply 39th within the discipline in strokes gained placing.
McIlroy got here into the match ranked first on the PGA Tour in strokes gained general, making up greater than 2.5 strokes per spherical on the sphere, a powerful show that has but to be rewarded.
“I am taking part in effectively, I am getting myself into rivalry each week, proceed to try this, going into subsequent week [at the Players Championship],” McIlroy stated. “That is the beauty of golf: You do not have to attend too lengthy to get again on the course.
“So I am proud of all the things, I simply suppose immediately I might have performed the par-5s higher. Nevertheless it was actually an unbelievable spherical by Francesco to shoot what he did. I’d have wanted to go on the market to raised him, which might have been probably the greatest scores of the day.”
Curiously, Molinari cited a final-round pairing with McIlroy final 12 months on the European Tour’s BMW PGA Championship as a motive for a run of success. The 2 have been tied at Wentworth heading into the ultimate spherical, with Molinari prevailing.
Since then, he has gained the Quicken Loans Nationwide, The Open, went 5-Zero on the Ryder Cup and has now added a fourth victory in lower than a 12 months.
“After I gained with Rory taking part in in the previous few teams, it wasn’t simple in any respect,” he stated. “So from there, I simply began constructing my confidence and simply saying I might get it accomplished.”
For no matter motive, McIlroy is just not getting it accomplished in last rounds, Sunday essentially the most evident instance. Definitely you possibly can’t count on him to rally to victory each time he’s within the last group, however this was the fourth time in these 9 occasions he has been inside one of many lead and did not win.
“I’ve needed to inform myself [to have] endurance at occasions,” McIlroy stated. “It is simply letting that golf come out when it issues most. And that is when you should virtually take your foot off the gasoline and simply let it occur. And that is clearly simpler stated than accomplished.”
If something, McIlroy is slowing down somewhat than barging by means of, a plight that’s extra pronounced if you end up an acclaimed four-time main champion with however a single victory over the previous 30 months.