Schauffele: McIlroy put under a microscope after losses

By Sports Desk June 19, 2024

Xander Schauffele believes Rory McIlroy is under tougher scrutiny when he loses and empathises with his need to take time off from the sport.

McIlroy came within touching distance of winning the US Open on Sunday but disappointingly fell short as Bryson DeChambeau claimed the title by a single shot in North Carolina.

The Northern Irishman bogeyed three of the last four holes in the last round at Pinehurst, including a woeful miss from a short putting distance on the 18th allowing DeChambeau to take the win.

McIlroy, a four-time major winner, has not won one of golf's top events since 2014 at the PGA Championship and announced on Sunday in a post on social media that he would be taking a few weeks away from the game following the event.

Schauffele, who was grouped with McIlroy and Scottie Scheffler for the US Open, understands why the 35-year-old has chosen to take a break.

"As a competitor, all of us have had our highs and lows to a certain degree. It's a tough spot.

"I'm sure him and his team are discussing what happened, and sometimes you just need to step away from it all and really try and be as objective as possible, because you're very much in the moment there and it obviously didn't go his way.

"He needs some time away to figure out what's going on."

The American won his first major in May, beating DeChambeau to the PGA Championship title at Valhalla, finally ending his reputation for struggling to close on final-round leads.

"It's different for everyone. It's hard for me to compare my losses to his losses," Schauffele added. "I would say his, he's under a bit more of a microscope.

"When things are going really well, people are all over him, and unfortunately, when things don't go your way, people are all over him.

"So, there's a microscope on him on why he didn't win and things of that nature, and he's going to have to answer those questions at some point, and he will, because he always does.

"I wear them pretty hard, but sometimes it's nice to just get back on the horse and compete."

McIlroy will return in time for The Open Championship in July, where he will look to end his decade-long major drought.

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