My life is perfect – Rory McIlroy insists he is not trying too hard to win major

Rory McIlroy insists he is not trying too hard to end his major drought and he considers his life to be “perfect” even if he has again failed to put himself in contention at the Open.

Saturday, 17th July 2021, 6:00 am
Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy on the sixth hole during day two of The Open. Pic by PA.

A second successive level-par 70 ensured the 2014 champion did not endure back-to-back missed cuts – having missed out on playing the weekend at his ‘home’ Open at Royal Portrush in 2019.

But it left him well off the nine-under pace set by fellow morning starter Collin Morikawa and made his chances of winning a first major in seven years remote at best.

McIlroy accepts part of that was his own doing as he went straight at a risky flag at the front of the par-three 16th but found a bunker and then missed a short putt for another bogey at the next.

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“I was really happy last night birdieing the last and finishing that round on a positive note, so to bogey the first two was not the ideal start,” said the Northern Irishman. “I battled back well and then just made a mental error on 16 – that pin tempted me into going for it – and made bogey there and a little missed putt on 17 out of nowhere.”

Asked whether he was trying too hard, he added: “I’ve got four of them (majors).

“I’m the luckiest guy in the world, I get to do what I love for a living, I have a beautiful family, my life is absolutely perfect at the minute.

“I want for nothing so it’s not a case of trying too hard for sure. You want to play your best.

“The last couple of months it has felt close but it hasn’t been close enough. I’ve got to keep working at it.

“It’s fine. I go back two years and I was walking away after Friday in this tournament.”

While he may have improved on his 2019 performance, McIlroy is far from satisfied having left himself the task of not dropping a shot down the last to keep inside the projected one-over cut line.

He admits the walk to the 18th tee was not the most comfortable for him, but he responded in perfect fashion, hitting his approach to the last green to 12 feet for a much-needed birdie to give him some breathing space.

“I felt a little nervous going to that 18th tee. I knew I needed a par at least – but probably a birdie – to be comfortable this afternoon,” he said. “It’s tough to say I’m glad to be here at the weekend but, the position I found myself in on the 18th tee, that’s the reality.

“It was nice to birdie the last and guarantee some weekend golf and I’ve just got to try to make the most of that.

“I’m not even looking at the board. I’m just trying to play a solid round of golf tomorrow and then pray for wind in the afternoon and see where that gets me.”