Rory McIlroy reflects on a ‘very average’ performance at Kiawah Island

Rory McIlroy labelled his performance as “very average” as his winless drought in majors continued in the 103rd US PGA Championship.

Monday, 24th May 2021, 6:01 am

McIlroy failed to break par in any round at Kiawah Island, rounds of 75, 72, 74 and 72 leaving the four-time major winner on five over par.

“More of the same, very average,” McIlroy said when asked to sum up a closing 72 containing four birdies and four bogeys.

“Can’t really get anything going and it was a day where you had to get off to a fast start. The first few holes were playing a lot easier than they have done, and I didn’t do that, and yeah, just sort of stuck in neutral.”

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Rory McIlroy watches his shot on the 17th green

McIlroy had been installed as the pre-tournament favourite on the back of his victory in the Wells Fargo Championship a fortnight ago and his eight-shot

triumph the last time Kiawah Island staged the US PGA in 2012.

“I didn’t understand those high expectations,” added McIlroy, who has now played 24 majors without success since winning the 2014 US PGA at Valhalla.

“It was good to get a win at Quail Hollow, a course that I’ve always played well on and am comfortable on. But I said on Tuesday, I didn’t remember much of 2012. For whatever reason it just wasn’t a very memorable week in many ways.

“I didn’t feel like playing well here nine years ago was going to automatically make me play well again, and I felt like coming in here there was still parts of my game that I needed to sharpen up, and obviously those parts were exposed this week in the wind and on a tough course.

“You go to somewhere like Quail Hollow, or where I’m going to play next, at Memorial, you can hit bad shots and still go find your ball and play it and hit great recovery shots. Here is so penal that you can’t.

“I feel like you’ve got a little more freedom on those golf courses, and that’s really all it is. It’s a trust and a freedom thing. At Quail Hollow you can hit it in trees and get it out. You sort of can’t really do that here.

“You see hazard on one side and six-foot-high (grass) on the other side, it’s sort of hard to bail out anywhere. It was a good test this week to see where I was, and I still have a way to go.

“I just need to figure out a driver, as well. I just haven’t driven the ball as well as I know that I can for a long time and that’s the foundation of my game, I guess, and once I’m driving it well, everything becomes so much easier.

“I just haven’t driven the ball like myself for a while. Probably haven’t driven the ball like myself since 2019, so I need to figure it out.”



A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our advertisers - and consequently the revenue we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription.

Subscribe to and enjoy unlimited access to the best Northern Irish and UK news and information online and on our app. With a digital subscription, you can read more than five articles, see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Visit now to sign up.

Our journalism costs money and we rely on advertising, print and digital revenues to help to support them. By supporting us, we are able to support you in providing trusted, fact-checked content for this website.

Thank you,

Alistair Bushe