McIlroy, 29, additionally prolonged a streak, this another enigmatic. Since January of final 12 months, he has performed his manner into the final group for the ultimate spherical eight occasions — with out rising triumphant. McIlroy’s lone title run in that stretch got here at Bay Hill final March when he began the ultimate spherical in the next-to-last group.
To mount a cost, McIlroy wanted to get off to the type of sizzling begin engineered by Casey, who teed off 4 teams forward and birdied the primary three holes. Johnson began shakily, taking part in the primary 5 holes in one over, however McIlroy, regardless of making a birdie on the second, couldn’t swing the momentum his manner. He didn’t discover a fairway off the tee till the eighth gap and he missed a birdie putt of 11 toes on the primary gap and a 6-footer for par on the fourth.
After taking part in the primary 9 in one over, McIlroy settled for par on No. 10, which Johnson birdied. At that time, McIlroy stated, his caddie, Harry Diamond, informed him to overlook about making an attempt to catch Johnson and focus on consolidating second place.
“I knew at that point that I didn’t have a chance; D. J. was playing too well,” McIlroy stated.
McIlroy coated the ultimate eight holes in 5 beneath and all he might do was equal Johnson’s final-nine 31.
“I felt like I was standing still,” McIlroy stated with fun. “I was making birdies and going nowhere.”
The different member of the ultimate threesome on Sunday was Patrick Reed, who was grouped with McIlroy on Sunday eventually 12 months’s Masters and claimed the inexperienced jacket with a 71 to McIlroy’s 74. That was McIlroy’s second cubic zirconia in the lustrous string. The fourth was the World Golf Championships occasion in Ohio, the place he couldn’t overcome Thomas’s three-stroke benefit. The sixth was the Tour Championship, the place he began three behind Woods. The seventh was the Tournament of Champions, the place Xander Schauffele shot a 62 to leapfrog into first.
“I’ve played well, I’ve done what I’ve wanted to do and needed to do,” McIlroy stated, including: “My game’s right there. I’m really happy with everything. I’ve just got to stay patient, look at the positives and just keep persisting and putting myself in positions, and sooner or later hopefully it will go my way.”