Rory McIlroy keeps chin up despite momentum stealing triple
August 18, 2022
By Ben Everill , PGATOUR.COM
Rory McIlroy putts to within 3 inches to set up birdie at BMW Championship
In the opening round of the 2022 BMW Championship, Rory McIlroy makes birdie on the par-5 14th hole.
WILMINGTON, Del. – Rory McIlroy was dissecting Wilmington Country Club like he’d been a member for decades and then one bad swing drowned the two-time FedExCup champion’s momentum. It drowned his golf ball also.
McIlroy was cruising in the afternoon wave of the BMW Championship at six under through 14 holes, looking nothing like the man who missed the cut in Memphis a week ago and everything like a man who had been spending his free weekend on a reconnaissance mission at the course.
Then some indecision and poor execution bit on the par-3 15th, as the Northern Irishman double crossed his 5-iron and it went sailing into a water hazard. To compound matters his shot from the drop zone landed 25-feet from the hole and he promptly three-putted for a triple bogey.
In the final wash up he signed for a 3-under 68 knowing it could have been much better but insisted he would take the positives out of the round and forge ahead.
“I have to take the positives. I still played a decent round of golf. Three under out there this afternoon was pretty good. I've just got to reset tonight and forget about that swing on 15 and go again tomorrow,” he said afterwards.
“Started really well, made some good things… just that one tee shot on 15. I felt like I had probably half a club too much, so I was trying to hit like a cut in there over the water, and I just double-crossed it and then compounded that by the three-putt.”
Sitting in a tie for 13th after the first round McIlroy projects to stay in the ninth seed in the Playoff standings but believes his best is yet to come as he seeks to be the first three-time winner of the FedExCup.
“Knocked some more rust off… last week I definitely turned like a 5- or 6-under into a 1-under on Friday, and that was just sort of rust and not being as sharp as I wanted to be. Just a little sharper today, and hopefully that continues not just this week but obviously into next week, as well.
“I practiced really hard the week before Memphis just to get back into it after taking two full weeks off after the Open, but there's a difference between practicing at home and camping out on the range and actually playing golf.
“I knew I just needed even just a couple of competitive rounds last week in Memphis just to see where my game was, and then coming here early, working on some stuff, getting out on the golf course... I've been on the golf course every day since Saturday here, so playing little games with Harry, him trying to set me scores to shoot, like trying to get myself into that sort of competitive mindset again (has been helpful).”