Saturday, 16 July 2011
Rory McIlroy   (Getty Images)
Rory McIlroy (Getty Images)

Rory McIlroy's hopes of adding The Open to the US Open almost certainly ended in a moment he described as "tough to take".

While playing partner and fellow 22-year-old Rickie Fowler was giving himself a chance with a superb 68 in the wind and rain, McIlroy dropped from level par to four over with a 74.

Seven of those shots came on the 547-yard 14th, where his leaked drive hopped out of bounds.

"To be two over after 13 was a pretty decent effort," said the Northern Irishman. "You've done so well to keep yourself in it and with half of Kent on your left to hit it right was a bit disappointing.

"That was a tough one to take.

"It's big setback. I obviously wanted to get closer to the lead rather than further away."

Asked how many shots back was too many he recalled Paul Lawrie's incredible victory at Carnoustie in 1999.

"Ten's been done before. You just have to keep hope."

Last year at St Andrews McIlroy led by two after a Major record-equalling opening round of 63, but followed it with an 80 in gale-force winds.

He did well to fight back to third place there, but added: "It seems this tournament more than anywhere else you need to get a good draw and it has not really worked out for me this week.

On the drive at the 14th he stated: "The moment I hit it I thought it was out of bounds, but then it started to hang on and I thought it could be okay.

"I think it bounced in bounds and then went out."

He was forced to hit another off the tee and missed the green with his fifth shot.

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