McIlroy misery is major
Posted: Monday, April 11, 2011 3:38 pm
By: By CHRIS LEHOURITES, AP Sports Writer
LONDON (AP) — Some called it a “meltdown,” others labeled it “misery” or a “horror show.” No matter how you describe it, Rory McIlroy’s final round at the Masters turned into agony for the young Northern Irishman from Holywood and for his supporters back in Britain.
The 21-year-old McIlory, who hails from the small town in County Down, fell apart at Augusta National on Sunday just when he seemed poised to win his first major. He shot an 8-over 80 to drop from the top of the leaderboard to 15th — 10 shots behind champion Charl Schwartzel.
“McIlroy slips from master to bogey man on final day,” the Irish Times headlined on its website Monday. In the Irish News, it was “Rory Shattered,” while its fellow Belfast-based newspaper News Letter wrote: “Horror Show.” The Irish Independent headlined “Masters meltdown as Rory fights off tears.”
McIlroy had the lead through the first three rounds, and then teed off Sunday morning with a four-stroke lead and the chance to become the second youngest winner of the green jacket.
“All he had to do was go out on to the beautifully manicured haven that is Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia and to continue doing what he had done for the three previous rounds to claim the U.S. Masters title,” Philip Reid of the Irish Times wrote from Augusta. “Easier said than done, of course.”
McIlroy’s round went from bad — two bogeys on the front nine — to worse starting on the 10th. He triple-bogeyed that first hole after the turn, followed with a bogey on No. 11 and then double-bogeyed the 12th.
On No. 13, his tee shot went into a creek.
“I realized then that I didn’t have a chance,” McIlroy said Sunday. “Once I hit that tee shot left on 13, I was done.”
Just about everyone watching could see it, too.
If McIlroy had won, he would have become the second youngest Masters champion behind Tiger Woods. Instead, his implosion has left him being named alongside players like Jean Van de Velde and Greg Norman, who both fell apart and lost big leads at major tourneys.
McIlroy’s demise, however, hasn’t dimmed the hopes of the golf faithful in Northern Ireland that the curly haired youngster will be back another day.
“This might not have been his time, but there in no doubt that it will come,” Karl MacGinty wrote in the Belfast Telegraph. “Ordinary golfers don’t lead the Masters for three days.”