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Inconsistent Rory McIlroy starts USPGA championship with a reverse end
Who was it whispering to Rory McIIroy in the long grass of Kiawah – demons or angels, taunting him with disturbing thoughts or soothing his mind with recollections of the carefree glory days? It didn’t take long to find out. McIlroy had barely digested his muesli breakfast before he found himself yapping towards the salt marshes on his 10th tee, frantically trying to remember what the Kiawah Island book, of course, had advised to the alligators and sea turtles lurking in the undergrowth (don’t annoy the locals). On a dusty gravel path, the 32-year-old had to allay his anxiety and set out to right the wrong, measuring two club-lengths for his recovery shot which was ultimately to end in a face rescue, which would have could. summer-so-much-worse bogey 5. The model has been set. In the South Carolinas, McIlroy was in familiar territory: from rooster to feather duster on the same turn as his back-to-back bogeys at the indicated turn. Just when he thought he’d cracked it, the oscillations returned. Bogeys at three of five by five. Exasperating. McIlroy finished on 75, three more, pretty much hung on to the argument. There have been many faults and righteousness in the career of the Northern Irishman since he tamed this Beast from the East in 2012, winning by a record eight strokes, and the memory of that joyous day. nine years ago, allied with a 19-month First Tour win just a fortnight ago at Quail Hollow, had propelled McIlroy to the top of betting for the PGA Championship’s first return to the site since then. This horrible first sculpture had had bookmakers rubbing their hands with joy. Bad Rory was their best friend. But the wayward man managed to transform into Good Rory, angst and tightness replaced by some confidence and gentleness, his 11th drive tucked into the fairway, paving the way for a successful birdie putt, an encouraging feat repeated on the 12th. The wandering McIlroy was not to be banned for good, however. The experience has never necessarily meant peace of mind. The more you know, the more you worry, too aware of what can go wrong like he did last month when McIlroy missed the cup at the Masters. The old-time PGA Champion was a natural talent, a tousled-haired kid who was as happy watching Ulster rugby from the terraces at Ravenhill as he was kicking a golf ball. The search for such productive innocence has been the focus of the mission for some time. The project continues. Still, McIlroy felt like he found a new and better sense of himself. Paternity friendship (in September) confirmed with caddy / best friend Harry Diamond making a call on the 18th that helped secure the title at Wells Fargo, streamlining his tight circle and taking advice from psychologist Bob Rotella, who has recommended ‘a lobotomy’ according to McIlroy as a way to calm an overheated brain. There was a frustrating bogey on the 16th par 5 for 606 yards with no relief from a ball embedded in the waste area, McIlroy leveled off after an encouraging first retort. Harum-scarum, water, water everywhere, the Par 3 17 was well negotiated as was the next hole to reach the promising shaped bend. Blob, blob followed. McIlroy was putting on solid but couldn’t find that elusive consistency as seen in par 3 fifth when the chance for a long distance birdie ended in a disheartening bogey as the putts raced through the hole. The wind was at McIlroy’s back for the last few holes. Would the force be with him? Birdie in the sixth, driving into the wispy quagmire in the seventh, hits won, hit dropped, barely comforted found then he was ripped off. By saved on the eighth (his 17th), by again on the last, a wrinkled forehead wiping and back to the practice. The alligators will not have slept easily.