Rory McIlroy Blows Third-Round Lead: “I Should Have Closed It Out”

The story of Rory McIlroy’s last two chances to win was disappointment. After failing to convert on a golden opportunity to complete the career grand slam at the Masters last month, McIlroy had a chance to add another feather to his cap this week at the BMW PGA Championship.


Entering the final round in a tie for the lead, McIlroy got off to a sluggish start and saw the European Tour’s flagship event slip through his grasp. 


“I’m just disappointed I didn’t play better over the weekend,” McIlroy said. “I was in a great position after two days and struggled yesterday and sort struggled today again, as well. I just couldn’t get it going. I let Francesco get a few shots ahead of me, and I couldn’t claw that back.

“I played some good golf coming down the back nine, hit some better shots, but I need to work on a few things going forward.”

McIlroy’s Sunday started in neutral and saw himself fall behind by two strokes through four holes to 54-hole co-leader Francesco Molinari. The deficit grew to four strokes by the 10th hole and McIlroy’s quest for a second title at Wentworth was shot before he got to the scoring opportunities on the back nine. 


McIlroy, who ended his two-year winless drought with a magisterial putting performance at the Arnold Palmer Invitational earlier this year, hasn’t won in Europe since the 2016 Irish Open. 

“I get a bit down on myself because my expectations are high, and with a 36-hole lead, I should have closed it out this week,” McIlroy said. “But that’s not taking anything away from Francesco. He played a great weekend and bogey-free around here is some playing. He deserved the win, I need to do a little more work, and I’m looking to forward to getting right back at it at Memorial next week.”

McIlroy will tee it up one more time in Dublin, Ohio at Muirfield Village Golf Club before taking a week off prior to the U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills on June 14.