U.S. Open 2020: McIlroy off diaper duty and out to end major drought

By Sports Desk September 15, 2020

Rory McIlroy hopes to end his extended wait for a major title at the U.S. Open, but the former world number one is not placing too much pressure on himself as he puts things into perspective after becoming a father.

McIlroy is off diaper duty for this week's rescheduled U.S. Open, which gets underway at Winged Foot Golf Club in New York amid the coronavirus pandemic on Thursday.

The 31-year-old Northern Irish star has not added to his four major trophies since 2014, when he claimed both the US PGA Championship and Open Championship.

McIlroy finished tied for 33rd at this year's PGA Championship, while he was unable to defend his Tour Championship and FedEx Cup titles last week as Dustin Johnson reigned supreme.

"Yeah, for sure. I think if anything, if you've looked at my major championship performances over the last few years, I've just gotten off to slow starts," McIlroy told reporters when asked if he had analysed his major struggles.

"I probably just put a little too much pressure on myself going into tournaments. And from there, shooting a bad score on the first day and putting yourself under even more pressure from there to just make it to the weekend, and then to try to play catch-up. I think that's been the big thing.

"When I start tournaments well, I seem to stay up there. I started Pebble last year with a nice score and stayed up there for the most part. I didn't quite finish the week the way I wanted to. But that's been the big thing for me. If I can start and put a good solid round together on a Thursday, I'm usually right there."

While McIlroy is eyeing major glory, defeat would sit slightly easier with the 2011 U.S. Open champion following the birth of his first child.

Asked if fatherhood had relaxed him, McIlroy said: "I think so. I think it just puts things in perspective a little bit. Not that this it matters to me and I care about it very much, but at the same time, it makes the hard days a little easier to get over, right. And I'm not saying that I want to have hard days to get over, but yeah, you're a little more relaxed.

"When I say it's not the be-all and end-all, it's a major championship and I've grown up my whole life dreaming of winning these tournaments, and that's not going to change, but if it doesn't quite happen, I can live with that and go home and be very happy and leave what's happened at the golf course at the golf course.

"I think that's maybe something that I haven't done so well in the past is I haven't left my job at the office basically, I've brought it home with me, and I've let it affect my mood and how I am. I think having that little bit more perspective definitely helps."

McIlroy added: "I actually changed the first two diapers, so I'm very proud of that. But yeah, I've got my hands dirty; put it that way."

Related items

  • Streb ends title drought with play-off win at RSM Classic Streb ends title drought with play-off win at RSM Classic

    Robert Streb claimed his first PGA Tour title since 2014 at the RSM Classic, where he prevailed in a play-off against Kevin Kisner.

    Streb's sole win had come at the same event six years ago, but the American ended his drought after birdieing the second play-off hole in Georgia on Sunday.

    After trading pars on the first extra hole, Streb birdied the par-four 18th as countryman Kisner could only record a par at the Sea Island Golf Club.

    Streb became the first two-time winner of the RSM Classic, where he is the fifth consecutive 36-hole leader/co-leader to reign supreme at the tournament.

    The 33-year-old is also the first player to capture his first two Tour victories at the same event since Daniel Berger (2016-17 at the FedEx St. Jude Classic).

    A play-off was needed after Streb (68) and Kisner (63) – both playing the Seaside course – finished 19 under through 72 holes, a stroke ahead of Cameron Tringale (62).

    Streb had carried a record-equalling three-shot lead into the final round, but he was caught by the rallying Kisner, who was flawless with seven birdies and no bogeys to mark his lowest final-round score since 2016.

    Bernd Wiesberger (63) and Andrew Landry (64) finished tied for fourth at 17 under, a stroke better off than Harris English (62), Camilo Villegas (66), Kyle Stanley (66) and Zach Johnson (68), while former world number one Jason Day (65) earned a share of 12th position – five shots behind the top two.

  • Hansen holds his nerve to seal maiden triumph at Joburg Open Hansen holds his nerve to seal maiden triumph at Joburg Open

    Joachim B. Hansen produced a blemish-free final round of 67 to claim his maiden European Tour title at the Joburg Open.

    Having ended Saturday trailing leader Wilco Nienaber by one shot, Hansen held his nerve over the closing holes to triumph for the first time at the 146th attempt.

    Nienaber led by as many as three shots by the turn at Randpark Golf Club, only to see his advantage whittled away.

    Hansen birdied three of his first five holes on the back nine before a succession of pars proved enough, aided by the leader finishing with back-to-back bogeys.

    The Dane was understandably emotional after holing the winning putt, as he ended up on 19 under for the week.

    "I putted really well, almost haven't missed a putt inside six feet and holed a lot of long ones as well," Hansen – who won two tournaments on the European Challenge Tour in 2018 - said.

    Nienaber finished alone in second, two shots back of the new champion but one clear of fellow South African Shaun Norris.

    It was an eventful final day for the overnight leader, as he came close to holing a clever long-distance putt at the 15th that saw the ball sent into the first cut off the green.

    He also got a kind break on the 17th when he somehow avoided his ball rolling into the water hazard, though he still went on to record a bogey at the hole.

  • Streb grabs record-equalling lead at RSM Classic Streb grabs record-equalling lead at RSM Classic

    Robert Streb will carry a record-equalling three-stroke lead into the final round of the RSM Classic.

    Champion in 2014, Streb carded a three-under 67 in the third round on the Seaside course at the Sea Island Golf Club in Georgia on Saturday.

    The American moved into 17 under and his three-stroke lead tied the record for the largest 54-hole advantage in tournament history.

    Streb, whose only previous PGA Tour victory came at the same event in 2014, produced a bogey-free third round that included three birdies.

    Zach Johnson (65) and Bronson Burgoon (67) are Streb's nearest challengers at 14 under.

    Emiliano Grillo produced a fast finish with an eagle and two birdies on his final four holes to shoot a 65 and sit a shot behind Johnson and Burgoon.

    Kevin Kisner (66), Kyle Stanley (68) and Camilo Villegas (70) are further back at 12 under.

    Villegas dropped back into that tie for fifth after mixing three birdies with three bogeys.

    Jason Day, who missed the cut at last week's Masters, continued his consistent showing with a second straight 67, the Australian sitting at nine under in a tie for 14th.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.