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McIlroy tries to stay positive despite extending winless streak in majors at The Open

Rory McIlroy Rory McIlroy - The Canadian Press

HOYLAKE, England (AP) — Once again, Rory McIlroy was roaming near the top of the leaderboard of a major on Sunday. Once again, he was nowhere to be seen during the trophy presentation.

McIlroy failed to win a major for the 34th straight time on Sunday at The Open.

Still, he again finished well and picked up his seventh top-10 finish in the last eight majors he played, giving him reason to stay positive going forward.

“Over the last two years would I have loved to have picked one of those off that I finished up there? Absolutely,” McIlroy said. “But every time I tee it up, or most times I tee it up, I’m right there. I can’t sit here and be too frustrated. You think about my performances in the majors between like 2016 and 2019, it’s a lot better than that.”

McIlroy finished in a tie for sixth at Royal Liverpool after a final-round 3-under 68. He ended 6 under for the tournament, seven shots behind winner Brian Harman.

“Overall solid performance, not spectacular, but a lot of optimism going into the rest of the year,” said McIlroy, whose last major win came at the 2014 PGA Championship.

The four-time major winner had three top-3 finishes in the last two seasons, including second at this year’s U.S. Open and at last year’s Masters. He missed the cut at the Masters this season for his worse finish in a major since the 2021 Open Championship, when he tied for 46th.

McIlroy said he won't dwell about going into his 10th season without a major.

“I don’t think that way,” the 34-year-old said. “I think about trying to go and win a fourth FedEx Cup here in a couple weeks’ time, go try and win a fifth Race to Dubai, go and win a fifth Ryder Cup. I just keep looking forward.”

All eyes were on McIlroy ahead of The Open as he had just won the Scottish Open and was playing some of his best golf recently.

Cheered loudly by most of the 260,000 fans who made it to Hoylake, he looked poised to make a run on Sunday with birdies on Nos. 3-5. He made two more birdies on the back nine, including at the par-3 17th, but also had two bogeys.

McIlroy, who won the Open at Royal Liverpool in 2014, had started the day in a tie for 11th, nine shots off the lead. He got within four shots of Harman but was never really in contention after that. Harman went on to win his first major at 13-under par for the tournament after shooting a final-round 1-under 70.

“Improved on my score every day,” McIlroy said. “Felt like I putted a bit better today. It was just hard. I needed to go out and shoot something 63, 64-ish, but really hard to do that in those conditions. I’m optimistic about the future, and just got to keep plugging away.”


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