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US Open

Rory McIlroy was close, but his seven-year major drought continues with fifth-place tie at US Open

Rory McIlroy hasn't won a major title since 2014.John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

BROOKLINE — With the crowd roaring around the 18th hole for the 2022 US Open champion, Rory McIlroy approached the green.

But the Irishman wasn’t there to be crowned champ.

Instead, McIlory was there to hug runner-up Will Zalatoris, and watch as Matt Fitzpatrick embraced his title-worthy 6-under-par finish.

Just a week ago, McIlroy was in that spot. All eyes on him in a moment you’d wish you could stop in time. He heard the roar of fans and felt the bliss of championship golf in his first-place finish at the Canadian Open.

Rory McIlroy flashes a smile Sunday during final round action at The Country Club.Warren Little/Getty

But this week was different. After Sunday’s final round at The Country Club, McIlroy finished in a 2-under tie for fifth with Collin Morikawa.


“I needed to shoot a 65 or a 66 to get the job done today, and I just wasn’t quite on it enough to do that,” McIlroy said. “I still feel like I played well and shot a solid round of golf, but just not quite good enough to contend.”

McIlroy is ranked third in the world and a four-time major champion. The 33-year-old is a favorite among fans and the “Rory, Rory” chants as he walked up the 18th hole on Sunday proved it. Crowds followed closely behind him all weekend.

But despite his résumé, McIlroy has not won a major since 2014.

“Another top five in a major,” he said, somewhat disappointedly.

McIlroy’s first-round 67 was his best of the tournament.

On Saturday, he was one of many to fall at the hands of windy and cool conditions. He carded an uncharacteristic three bogeys in the opening six holes. With just one birdie on the round, he ended at 3-over 73.

“It was one of the toughest days on a golf course I’ve had in a long time,” McIlory acknowledged afterward.


Entering the final day at 1-under par, McIlroy had to put up an impressive, but achievable, score to remain in contentione. He started the round with a three-stroke birdie on the first hole’s 484-yard par 4, but later posted three bogeys in five holes. His inconsistency dropped him to 1-under 69 on the round.

Rory McIlroy chips onto the 12th green during Saturday's third-round action at the US Open.Matthew J. Lee/Globe Staff

“A bit of a roller coaster on the front nine,” McIlroy said. “Sort of feel like there was a couple of holes out there this week that were my nemesis, the third being one of them.”

On the third hole, McIlory recorded a par, double-bogey, bogey, and bogey through the four rounds.

McIlroy will compete at the Travelers Championship in Hartford next week. After that, he’ll take a 2-week two-week hiatus in preparation for the final major championship of the year: The Open at St. Andrews Links.

It’ll be his final chance at a 2022 major title.

“The game’s there,” McIlory said. “It’s there. It’s close. I just have to stay patient.”

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