An Open Championship week which began with Jack Nicklaus’ tears as he was made an honorary citizen of the Royal Burgh of St Andrews and continued with Tiger Woods’ tears as he left the Outdated Course ended with the tears of Rory McIlroy. His final-round mugging by the hands of Australian murderer Cameron Smith should have left McIlroy pondering he’s cursed by no means to win one other Main. Possibly he’s. Possibly 4 is feted to be his quantity.

Within the eight years since he gained the USPGA at Valhalla 23 golfers have gained Majors – the overwhelming majority of them inferior gamers to McIlroy. He has performed some excellent golf within the large occasions this yr and completed within the prime ten in all of them but each time victory has eluded him.

He regarded crestfallen on the ultimate inexperienced on Sunday. He had regarded out from the balcony of his resort room throughout the 18th fairway earlier than his spherical and pictured a really totally different look to the enormous yellow scoreboard.

“I am solely human. I am not a robotic. In fact you concentrate on it, and also you envision it – you wish to envision it. You’ve acquired to let your self dream,” he stated. “Each time I went out I used to be attempting to ascertain McIlroy as the highest title on that leaderboard and the way would that really feel? Initially of the day, it was on the prime, however at the beginning of tomorrow, it will not be.”

The large galleries shoehorned into St Andrews shared his ache. They’d come of their droves within the hope of witnessing a McIlroy triumph. By the flip that hope had turned to expectation as Viktor Hovland’s retreat left McIlroy with a two-shot lead.

However one group forward, the dingo from Down Below was closing in. Because the searing warmth of the Smith blowtorch started to be felt everywhere in the parched Outdated Course there ought to have been a hearth danger warning.

When Smith made it an unbelievable 5 birdies in a row on the 14th the Northern Irishman was immediately behind. Because the holes slipped by and McIlroy continued to tread water the Outdated Course took on a level of desperation.

By the 18th, after yet one more birdie putt had slipped by on the Street Gap, McIlroy was in Hail Might territory. He wanted a chip-in eagle to take the Open to a play-off and with the crowds packing the 18th fairway behind, a thundering roar of assist swelled round him as he lined up the shot.

However along with his father Gerry wanting down from the resort balcony, McIlroy was unable to tug a rabbit from the hat. The sense of anti-climax and deflation throughout was palpable.

McIlroy had damaged undesirable floor in changing into the primary participant with the ultimate spherical lead in a Main to hit each inexperienced in regulation and nonetheless not win. His putter deserved a burial at sea in St Andrews Bay. Smith joins a blue-chip membership together with the likes of Bobby Jones, Seve Ballesteros, Nick Faldo, Woods and Nicklaus at St Andrews Open winners.

As Nicklaus as soon as stated: “If you are going to be a participant individuals will bear in mind, it’s a must to win the Open at St Andrews.” McIlroy had his likelihood to hitch {the golfing} immortals. He simply couldn’t take it.

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