Mr. McIlroy grades his own 2012 with a B, looking for an A in final major exam
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Mr. McIlroy grades his own 2012 with a B, looking for an A in final major exam

Rory McIlroy's year has been a tale of two semesters.

He was the head of the class in the first half of the year, earning an A and the No. 1 ranking in the world at the Honda Classic in March.

In the second half of the year, however, McIlroy has struggled. At one point in May, he missed three consecutive cuts. He drowned a chance to win in Memphis at the 72nd hole.

It all rounds out, he said Wednesday.

"There were a few goals I set myself early at the start of the year, which I achieved; getting to No. 1 in the world, and playing well, winning a tournament early," he said. And then the second half of the season, it's still been pretty good. It's been a little bit more of a struggle. But you know, I feel like I'm playing pretty well, so, I mean, if I had to give my season a grade to this point, I'd probably give it a B."

Of course, McIlroy could assure an A for the year if he passes the year's final major exam and wins the PGA Championship. He has a pair of top-three finishes in this championship at just 23 years old.

McIlroy said last week in Akron, Ohio, he has struggled to take his game from the range to the course. That's why he has cut down on his range time.

"I sort of found out over the last couple of weeks that just standing there and hitting balls on the range isn't something that's going to be good for me," he said. "I need to get out there and play, see shots on the course. That's something I've tried to do the last few weeks."

It's not every week McIlroy can play his best. Figuring out how to succeed with the proverbial B-game is the next challenge in his career.

"That's what the best players do," he said. "They learn how to win when they are not playing with their A-game, and that's something that I'm still learning how to do."


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Ryan Ballengee

Ryan Ballengee is founder and editor of Golf News Net. He has been writing and broadcasting about golf for over a decade, working for NBC Sports, Golf Channel, Yahoo Sports and SB Nation. Ballengee lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his family. He used to be a good golfer.

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