McIlroy leaves charge too late

Rory McIlroy impressed with his final round at the US Open, but it was too little too late for the 2011 winner.

The Northern Irishman carded a final round of 66 that left him even par for the event, tied for ninth and five strokes off the winner Jordan Spieth.

However, that final round of four under could have been even better for the world number one if it wasn’t for the dropped shots on the back nine.

After rolling in three birdies on the front nine, McIlroy picked up two more on the tenth and 12th before draining an incredible 70 foot putt for another gain on the 13th.

With two good birdie holes remaining, the four-time Major winner was looking at a possible 62 which would have put him at four under for the tournament.

But it wasn’t to be for McIlroy, as he bogeyed the 15th and 17th on his way in. The back nine at Chambers Bay had hurt him all week, as he carded eight bogeys and a double bogey over the four rounds.

“When I look back, obviously the last few holes of this golf course haven’t been kind to me all week,” said the 26-year-old on ESPN.

“And when I look back at this tournament that’s where I’ll rue some missed opportunities. I feel like it’s sort of one that got away, especially the way I putted this week. I don’t think I’ve ever hit the ball as well in a major championship.”

McIlroy had another birdie chance on the 14th, but it went wide.

“I don’t think it derailed the momentum,” he added.

“It would be nice to have holed it. I felt like I hit a good putt for once that didn’t go in. Then the missed putt on 15, for the first bogey of the day, that hurt. And not to birdie 16 from where I put it off the tee. And then again a three-putt on 17.”

While McIlroy was slightly disappointed with his pair of 72’s in the opening rounds, he is looking to take all the positives from his sizzling final round into the lead up to The Open Championships at St Andrews next month.

“This bodes well for the rest of the summer the way I’ve hit the ball this week,” said the 11-time PGA Tour winner.

“And I’ve got a couple of weeks to work on my putting and get that up to the shape that it has been in and especially the way it was last year. If I can do that, keep the long game where it is, I’m really excited about what can happen over the summer.

“I take a lot of positives out of this. The long game is really in good shape. I’ve never hit the ball as good in a major championship for four rounds. I was really dialed in all week and confident with that. And if I can just get the putting a little bit better and roll a few more in and get a little bit of confidence with that going, I see nothing but positive signs for the next few months.”