Frustrated McIlroy looking forward to a break

It’s taken Rory McIlroy just three events this New Year to earn over $1m in PGA Tour prizemoney.

Nice headline but it’s not what McIlroy wants to read after finishing a distant four shots behind American Patrick Reed at the close of the WGC–Mexico Championship.

Rory McIlroy Rory McIlroy (Credit: PGA Tour)

Reed posted a second straight four-under par 67 and despite a closing hole bogey, the Texas golfer captured his eigth Tour victory by a shot with an 18-under par tally in Mexico City.

Reed broke clear of a packed leaderboard with three birdies in succession from the 15th hole to finish clear of Bryson DeChambeau with McIlroy a distant fifth in signing for a 68 and McIlroy’s fourth straight round in the 60s.

“Frustrating,” was how McIlroy described his week. “I don’t feel like I got the best out of myself. Yeah, obviously started the week well, and then, yeah, I feel like I hit some loose shots, and I didn’t putt as well as I needed to over the last three days…I just let a few shots get away.”

It is the second year in succession McIlroy has produced three top-5 PGA Tour finishes in his three events up to and including the WGC–Mexico Championship.

McIlroy had been out in the final group at the Farmers Insurance Open, the Geneis Invitational and also the WGC–Mexico Championship but has only managed a respective T5, T3 and now another 5th to earn a cool US$1,192,490.

Offer those results at the start of a new season and the journeyman pro would have cut your hand off and rejoiced in becoming an instant millionaire. That’s not McIlroy and posting a third top-5 finish in this new decade is not what he’s about.

On a positive note, McIlroy’s now brushed Nick Faldo aside to be third overall with 98 combined weeks at World No. 1 though McIlroy now needs to add another 233 weeks as the game’s best and he will tie Aussie Greg Norman in second on the World Rankings.

McIlroy’s also still first in terms of 2019/20 PGA Tour season ‘scoring average’ with 68.205, second tee-to-green and first in ‘scrambling’ and he’s up from 24th to sixth in Driving Distance.

But go to the all-important putting stats and Seamus Power is ranked a better putter than McIlroy.

I don’t mean for a minute to belittle Seamus but at 68th in ‘puttiing’ he’s four spots higher than McIlroy while McIlroy was ranked 109th in the same category a week ago.

McIlroy will sit-out this week’s Honda Classic, an event in 2012 where he went to World No. 1 for the first time in claiming victory just a short drive from his Flordia mansion.

Instead the Northern Irishman has four events – Arnold Palmer Invitational, Players Championship, WGC – Dell Match-Play Championship and the Valero Texas Open before the first Major showdown of 2020 – the April 9th commencing Masters.

Little wonder after the events of the past fortnight McIlroy really sounds like he’s looking forward to taking a week off.

“I’m just looking forward to a week off. Looking forward to getting away for a little bit,” he said.