Rory McIlroy’s Masters build-up suffered a setback in Los Angeles the place his file streak ended with a primary missed lower in virtually two years.
The Irishman by no means regarded like qualifying for the ultimate two rounds of the Genesis Open, as he struggled to a 76 for a desultory seven-over complete. McIlroy, 31, was miles off the mark, leaving a event prematurely for the primary time because the 2019 Open at Royal Portrush.
Up till this demise, McIlroy’s 30 consecutive weekends had been the longest energetic run on the 2 predominant males’s excursions.
The comfort for falling brief so emphatically was that McIlroy didn’t have to attend round and will instantly exit the gates at Riviera Nation Membership on to Sundown Boulevard and to the airport for a non-public jet again to his Florida dwelling.
McIlroy can be deeply pissed off, nevertheless. After ending third in his opening occasion of the 12 months – the Abu Dhabi Championship – he was assured that he had left behind the mediocre kind that has dogged him since the golf resumed from the lockdown final June.
This error-strewn show – that includes eight bogeys and a double-bogey in his 36 holes – got here on the again on a tie for thirteenth and a tie for sixteenth in his first two PGA Tour occasions of 2021, and though it’s hardly panic stations, McIlroy can be keen to place himself again on observe on the WGC Workday Championship, a three-hour drive west of his Jupiter base, that begins on Thursday.
McIlroy can also be resulting from play within the following week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational in Orlando after which, within the closing week of the “Florida Swing”, at The Gamers Championship, the place he’ll try and change into the primary participant in historical past to retain the Tour’s flagship title. With the World Match Play in Austin additionally to return, McIlroy has loads of aggressive motion to repair the wrongs, earlier than arriving at Augusta in seven weeks’ time for one more shot at finishing the profession grand slam.
McIlroy’s event was basically over when he stepped on to the par-four eighth, his penultimate gap, and, by then, he was possible determining his journey schedule. However the six on the par-four summed up what have to be classed as his worst present in a very long time.
He pulled his drive, however solely had 90 yards to the pin. From an iffy lie, he got here up in need of the inexperienced. McIlroy “fatted” his third and noticed it roll again down the hill. He chipped to eight toes together with his fourth however couldn’t rescue a bogey. Sloppy within the excessive.
On the different finish of the leaderboard, the first-round chief, American Sam Burns, shot a 66 to maneuver to 12-under and right into a five-shot lead over a gaggle in second together with world No 1 Dustin Johnson.
And having completed fourth and third within the earlier two weeks, Jordan Spieth is threatening one other cost for his first title in virtually 4 years carding a second successive 68 to maneuver to six-under.