The world number three produced an electrifying bid to make the weekend after that disastrous opening 79, connecting powerfully with his home people down the stretch only to come up agonisingly short. As his pride and talent kicked in on a memorable, rain-sprinkled day at Royal Portrush, he scorched to six-under for the day with two holes to play but couldn’t find the precious birdie he needed. A course-record equalling 65 was not enough to keep his dream of a fifth Major win on home soil alive as he finished a shot outside the mark alongside the equally disappointed amateur champion James Sugrue on two-over, one better than Pádraig Harrington and Darren Clarke. If we were wondering why McIlroy crumbled so tragically on the opening day, the answer was palpable straight after the round. It simply meant too much, “Part of me is very disappointed not to be here for the weekend,” McIlroy said, trying to hold back tears after racing home in 31 blows. “I am a bit emotional but I am happy with how I played. “Yesterday gave me a big mountain to climb. But I dug in there, I tried my best and I showed really good… Read full this story
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