Is this the end of Rory McIlroy’s putting game?
There is no doubt that Rory McIlroy is one of the best players out on the PGA Tour.
An incredible CV boasts four major wins, 16 PGA Tour titles, whilst being currently sat second in the FedEx Cup standings.
It just seems that Rory’s inability to close out Championships is stopping him from reaching the heights of golfing immortality – in recent events the putter has really gone COLD TURKEY.
In a dismal couple of weeks, the Northern Irishman missed the cut in the Open Championship on home soil at Royal Portrush as well as throwing away a final-round lead at the WGC FedEx St Jude invitational last weekend. Is the recent drop in form a tale of pressure with the putter?
Rory went into the Open Championship at Royal Portrush (a course where he holds the record score) as red-hot favourite to lift his fifth major on home soil. That optimism was soon diminished after a nightmare first round of +8. An abysmal putting performance saw Rory miss the cut by one shot despite a brave Friday fightback.
McIlroy’s Open really came to a head on Thursday on the 16th green, three-putting from within 6ft – a putt my nan would have probably sunk.
In Memphis at the St Jude Invitational, the tide seemed to have turned. McIlroy putted solidly through 54, earning him the clubhouse lead on Saturday evening (-12), with Brooks Koepka sitting pretty a shot back (-11).
The stage was set for a mammoth heavyweight bout between two giants of the game, as first took on second in the FedEx Cup standings. What we got instead was a white flag, as Rory’s horrific form with the putter continued.
In a disappointing 71 (+1), the putter went cold on the big stage yet again, just as Koepka found his form on the green.
Golf Fans React:
Koepka can putt. Nerves of steel. McIlroy needs a bit of that at the minute.
— Birdfeed (@Birdfeed1) July 28, 2019
Mcilroy should try and learn to putt
— Matthew Jones (@MatthewJonesss) July 28, 2019
McIlroy misses yet another putt on the par-3 8th, missing it to the left.
— Lukas Weese (@Weesesports) July 28, 2019
Rory McIlroy can’t handle the mental aspect of golf against the top players. He’s so weak. Koepka made a par putt & then Rory missed a shorter birdie putt. Since then he’s done nothing & Koepka has made 2 birdies. So frustrating because his swing is class & he hits it a mile
— Luke Sheekey (@LukeSheekey) July 28, 2019
But how do Rory’s stats compare over the season, does the pressure with the putter only get to him at the big events and Sunday rounds?
McIlroy’s first putt conversion standings on PGA TOUR this season are:
- Thursday – T146
- Friday – T13
- Saturday – T73
- Sunday – T83
The rankings of first putt conversion rate show that it is the opening and closing of Rory’s rounds that are affected most by his lack of form with the putter – arguably the two most pressured and important rounds of any event.
As Koepka now overtakes Rory into top spot in the FedEx Cup standings, the question is whether he can he find his form in time for the play-offs and that all-important Tour Championship.
McIlroy has a great chance to bounce back next week at the Wyndham Championship at Sedgefield Country Club – but only if he can get that putter working for him on the green.
Vice-captain Graeme McDowell still has hopes of playing in another Ryder Cup
The Northern Irishman will be part of Europe’s bid to retain the trophy at Whistling Straits later this month.
Fleetwood ready to become villain of the piece as Europe bid to retain Ryder Cup
With coronavirus travel restrictions preventing large numbers of fans travelling, Padraig Harrington’s side are braced for a one-sided atmosphere.
Kristoffer Broberg ends ‘six years of hell’ with battling victory at Dutch Open
The Swede claimed his second European Tour title after finishing with a 72.
Ian Poulter: America’s rookies are in for nerve wracking Ryder Cup experience
Half of captain Steve Stricker’s side have never played in the biennial contest before.
McGinley wants Europe’s Ryder Cup players to forget about Koepka/DeChambeau feud
Former Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley believes attempting to make capital from the spat could backfire.
Kristoffer Broberg eight shots clear at Dutch Open
The 35-year-old secured the course record at Bernardus Golf.
Sergio Garcia feeling rested and ready for Ryder Cup after wild card ‘gamble’
The Spaniard has won 25.5 points at the Ryder Cup.
Sweden’s Kristoffer Broberg holds a narrow halfway lead in the Dutch Open
Nine birdies helped him to a score of 64 in the second round at Bernardus Golf.
Any rest for Rory and will practice make US perfect? – Ryder Cup talking points
The United States will be hoping to make the most of home advantage at Whistling Straits.
New-look USA aiming to reclaim Ryder Cup against experienced-packed Europe
Europe are the holders and have won seven of the last nine Ryder Cups, but United States boast eight of the world’s top 10 players and home advantage.