McIlroy taking break from golf after 'toughest' day

Agence France-Presse
McIlroy taking break from golf after 'toughest' day
Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland reacts after finishing the 18th hole during the final round of the 124th US Open at Pinehurst Resort on June 16, 2024 in Pinehurst, North Carolina.
Jared C. Tilton / Getty Images / AFP

MIAMI – Rory McIlroy said Monday (Tuesday Manila time) he plans to take a break from golf after describing his epic US Open collapse as probably the "toughest" day of his professional career.

In his first public comments since his meltdown at Pinehurst on Sunday that allowed Bryson DeChambeau to claim a one-shot victory, McIlroy said his next event will be the July 11-14 Scottish Open, the warm-up for the British Open.

"Yesterday was a tough day, probably the toughest I've had in my nearly 17 years as professional golfer," said McIlroy, who has withdrawn from this week's Travelers Championship in Connecticut.

McIlroy, who left Pinehurst swiftly on Sunday without speaking to media, squandered a two-shot lead with five holes to play, making bogeys on three of the last four holes to surrender a winning position to DeChambeau.

Two of McIlroy's bogeys came from missed putts of less than four feet.

It was the latest agonizing near-miss for McIlroy in his attempts to end a decade-long pursuit of a fifth major. McIlroy now has 21 top-10 finishes, including four runner-ups, since his last major in 2014.

The 35-year-old from Northern Ireland insisted however that he believed the positives outweighed the negatives from his US Open disaster.

"As I reflect on my week, I'll rue a few things over the course of the tournament, mostly the two missed putts on 16 and 18 on the final day," McIlroy said. "But as I always try to do, I'll look at the positives of the week that far outweigh the negatives.

"As I said at the start of the tournament, I feel close to winning my next major championship, than I ever have.

"The one word that I would describe my career as is 'resilient'. I've shown my resilience over and over again in the last 17 years and I will again.

"I'm going to take a few weeks away from the game to process everything and build myself back up for my defense of the Genesis Scottish Open and the Open at Royal Troon.

"See you in Scotland."

McIlroy, meanwhile, paid tribute to the charismatic DeChambeau, describing the American LIV Golf player as a worthy US Open champion.

"I'd like to congratulate Bryson," McIlroy said. "He is a worthy champion and exactly what professional golf needs right now. I think we can all agree on that."

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