Rory McIlroy Admits Feeling Groggy During First Round

“I played the back nine blind. I hadn't seen the back nine, and I only played the front nine in the pro-am."

by Sead Dedovic
Rory McIlroy Admits Feeling Groggy During First Round
© Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images Sport

Rory McIlroy was in a celebratory mood the night before the RBC Canadian Open, as his caddie Harry Diamond was celebrating the birthday. The Northern Irishman admitted to Adam Schipak that he didn't feel his best before the RBC Canadian Open. McIlroy obviously had the intention of celebrating that birthday in the best way, not thinking too much about how it would affect his performance.

The 35-year-old golfer finished the opening round with a 66. McIlroy had previously excelled in this tournament, winning it in 2019 and 2022, aiming to do the same this time. Last year he didn't succeed in his goal, but this year he has the opportunity to make things right.

Rory highlighted that he played the back nine blind, happy not to have made a bogey. He was further motivated to raise the level of his game going forward.

“I played the back nine blind. I hadn't seen the back nine, and I only played the front nine in the pro-am. So I was happy enough to get out of there in even par and not make a bogey.

Once I got that nine holes out of the way I knew there were some chances on that front side and played probably much better on that front side. Four birdies there and no bogeys was a good day's work."- Rory McIlroy said, as quoted by Golf Monthly.

Rory McIlroy commented on his putting performance, mentioning that he gained valuable practice while trying to save par on the front nine, particularly with 6-foot putts. Despite a few misses, he felt he putted well overall, except for a 3-putt on the 4th hole. He expressed hope in maintaining this level of putting proficiency in the upcoming days.

Rory McIlroy and problems with consistency

McIlroy expressed his satisfaction with completing the first round without a bogey. He described it as refreshing to see a clean scorecard, stressing that he had struggled with consistency earlier in the year, often encountering high scores and oscillations in performance. However, he was pleased to be back to playing bogey-free rounds again.

Rory McIlroy has been excellent in previous tournaments, demonstrating serious ambitions for the remainder of the season. While his primary focus will certainly be on winning Majors, the 35-year-old intends to concentrate on the present events, prepared to take it step by step.

Rory McIlroy
Rory McIlroy© Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images Sport

The Northern Irishman has drawn particular attention to itself after confirming his divorce from his wife, Erica. McIlroy has often chosen to remain silent on these reports, with no intention of revealing anything about his private life. Once again, he has done the same. 

The 35-year-old believes that the focus must primarily be on golf, seeing it as the only way for the sport to progress. This season brings mixed emotions for him, as at times he has looked brilliant, while in the next moment, Rory wouldn't resemble the golfer we're used to seeing. He's aware of this but intends to change and evolve as the season progresses.

“I think when all of us are able to focus purely on the golf again that would be welcomed by everyone. But, yeah, I've played a lot of golf this year."- Rory McIlroy said.

Rory McIlroy: I've started to play my way into form

Rory McIlroy reflected on the less popular moments, emphasizing that he has significantly improved lately. He admitted to playing a lot recently but is happy that his performances have been excellent. His intentions are to continue performing well throughout the rest of the season and to strive for Major victories. There is no doubt that he is capable of achieving this.

“I was on a four-week stretch sort of through Augusta and then I had two weeks Quail Hollow and PGA and now I'm on another four-week stretch. So, yeah, I've played a lot, but it's been good. It's been, I've started to play my way into form and I've played well the last few weeks and hopefully I can just keep that going.”- Rory McIlroy concluded.

It will be interesting to follow his performances in the upcoming period, given that Northern Irishman is in a special phase of life where the media tends to focus more on his private life rather than his professional one.

On the other hand, even when discussing his professional life, the emphasis is often placed on the merger between the PGA Tour and the LIV, and his role in it. He has highlighted many times before that the merger is a great solution, hoping that the story will come to an end.

Nevertheless, Rory McIlroy is accustomed to media pressure and various headlines. This won't pose a problem for him.

Rory Mcilroy