Rory McIlroy had nothing to lose on Sunday in The Open Championship, which led to losing shots early and often in his final round at Royal Lytham & St. Annes.
McIlroy closed with a second consecutive 3-over 73 to finish the week at 8 over par and a tie for 60th place.
The Ulsterman wanted to come out of the gates aggressively, but it cost him two bogeys and a double bogey in a three-hole stretch after a par at the first.
“It wasn’t the start that I wanted to get off to, four-over through four,” McIlroy said, according to Reuters. “I wanted to get off to a fast start both days, yesterday and today, and did the complete opposite. So I was struggling from early on.”
McIlroy may have walked away from Lytham without a second major title, but he appears to have discovered something that may help him in time for the PGA Championship in three weeks.
“I had a good practice session on the range last night and feel like I found something good there,” he said.
No matter what happens at Kiawah Island, McIlroy is taking the long view.
“If it doesn’t happen over the next couple of weeks, no big deal,” he said. “It’s a 20‑year career so I’m not going to get too wound up just over a few weeks.”