Rory McIlroy said he would remain patient after another lackluster final round in Hawaii on Sunday put pay to his chances of victory at the Sentry Tournament of Champions.
The Northern Irishman had managed to play his way into the final pairing with overnight leader Gary Woodland, and would have been hoping to turn up the heat over the last 18 holes.
Instead, the final round turned into a two-way battle between Woodland and eventual champion Xander Schauffele, who stole the show with a spectacular final-round 62.
McIlroy, meanwhile, could do no better than a one-under 72 that saw him finish a full eight strokes back in tied-fourth place – the worst score of the top 10 finishers at Kapalua.
“My attitude was much better today. I didn’t press at all, I was very patient,” McIlroy told reporters.
“I obviously could have shot a better score, but I did what I wanted to do, gave myself plenty of chances, just couldn’t get the ball to drop.”
Failing to deliver in the final round after playing himself into contention is becoming a bit of a familiar refrain for McIlroy.
Last year, he had to look on as final-round partners Patrick Reed, Tiger Woods, Justin Thomas and Francesco Molinari won the Masters, Tour Championship, WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and BMW PGA Championship respectively – all tournaments he was in with a real chance of winning himself.
“It’s just something I am going to have to persist with, keep putting myself in these situations,” he said on Sunday.
“I don’t think anyone could have lived with Xander today.”
Rory McIlroy won the Players Championship in dramatic fashion on Sunday as he made two late birdies to win the tournament by one stroke.
Adri Arnaus and Guido Migliozzi both fired career-low rounds on the European Tour to grab a share of the lead at the Magical Kenya Open.
Tiger Woods admitted he was “pretty ticked off” after putting two shots in the water at Sawgrass’ famous 17th hole on Friday.
Some more excellent golf from Tommy Fleetwood and Rory McIlroy is threatening to turn the Players Championship into a two-horse race.
Sergio Garcia took some time out from his practice round to help a fan propose to his girlfriend at TPC Sawgrass’ iconic 17th hole.
Tommy Fleetwood and Keegan Bradley share the first-round lead at the Players Championship, while Rory McIlroy lurks just two shots back.