Rory McIlroy‘s haul of 17 birdies throughout the week should have seen him contending for a second Open title, but he was again left to count the cost of too many “mental errors” after rounds of 70, 70, 69 and 71 left him at level par for the Championship.
Although the work he has put in under the tutelage of swing coach Pete Cowen was almost rewarded at the US Open last month, where he forced his way into a tie for the lead before his final-day challenge was scuppered by two card-wrecking holes shortly after the turn.
But the progress he felt he had made at Torrey Pines took a step backwards in Sandwich, and although his birdie count was a positive to take from the week, McIlroy is fully aware of the need to iron out the mistakes if he is to land a first major title since 2014.
“For me at the minute it’s just the process of trying to work my way back to the sort of form and the sort of the level that I know I can play at,” Rory Mcllroy said. “I felt like I was close at Torrey Pines.
“But if you want someone to shoot even par for you for a week I’m your man! There are a lot of birdies in there but a lot of bogeys, too. I think it’s just more the bogey avoidance and the mental errors.
“I’ve made 17 birdies this week, which is more than enough to challenge to win this golf tournament. It’s just I make too many mistakes, and that’s the part that I need to try to get right.
“Whether that’s trying to be a little too aggressive from bad spots or putting myself in bad spots to begin with, but it’s just a matter of just trying to iron out the mistakes.
“There is enough good stuff in there to contend at these golf tournaments, but I’m just not allowing myself to do that with some the mistakes I’m making.”