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Rory McIlroy determined to bounce back from Pinehurst disappointment in Scotland

McIlroy took a break from golf but is teeing it up again this week in Scotland

Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy says he “stewed” on his US Open disappointment for a couple of days but is confident he can use it as motivation to achieve great things, starting this week at the Scottish Open.

McIlroy was closing in on a long-awaited fifth major title – his first in 10 years – at Pinehurst last month only to bogey three of the last four holes and be pipped by Bryson DeChambeau.

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The Northern Irishman missed short putts on 16 and 18 to leave the door ajar for DeChambeau and the LIV Golf player strode through to take the trophy.

McIlroy took some time off to process the setback – including a head-clearing trip to New York – but is back in action this week at The Renaissance Club as he builds up to the Open which gets underway a week tomorrow.

Pause for thought

Looking back at his Pinehurst collapse, he said: “I stewed on what happened at Pinehurst for a couple of days but thankfully I can go home and look at what I’ve achieved in the game and sort of feel okay about myself. 

“It was a great opportunity. It passed me by but hopefully when I get that next opportunity, it won’t pass me by.

“I’ll learn a lot from it and I’ll hopefully put that to good use. It’s something that’s been a bit of a theme throughout my career. I’ve been able to take those tough moments and turn them into great things not very long after that.”

McIlroy hits back at critics

McIlroy also hit back at the commentators that criticized him and caddie Harry Diamond following DeChambeau’s win.

Tiger Woods’ former coach Hank Haney and ex-PGA Tour professional-turned NBC Sports analyst Smylie Kaufman were among those that felt both McIlroy and Diamond should have handled the situation better.

In response, McIlroy added: “Hank Haney has never been in that position. Smylie has been in that position once. I love Smylie and he was out there with us on 18 [when McIlroy missed a decisive putt]. But just because Harry is not as vocal or loud with his words as other caddies, it doesn’t mean that he doesn’t say anything and that he doesn’t do anything.

“These guys that criticise when things don’t go my way, they never say anything good when things do go my way. So where were they when I won Dubai earlier this year or Quail Hollow or the two FedExCups that I’ve won with Harry or the two Ryder Cups or whatever? They are never there to say Harry did such a great job when I win but they are always there to criticise when we don’t win.

“They are not the ones hitting the shots and making the decisions. Someone said to me once, if you would never take advice from these people, you would never take their criticisms either. I certainly wouldn’t go to Hank Haney for advice. I love Smylie, but I think I know what I’m doing and so does Harry.”


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Jon Fisher

Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.