He's Taking a Golf Break: An Incredible Stat Helps Explain

Rory McIlroy had made nearly 500 short putts in a row, until his collapse at the US Open
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 18, 2024 9:03 AM CDT
He's Taking a Golf Break: An Incredible Stat Helps Explain
Rory McIlroy, of Northern Ireland, reacts after missing a putt on the 18th hole during the final round of the U.S. Open golf tournament Sunday, June 16, 2024, in Pinehurst, N.C.   (AP Photo/Matt York)

Rory McIlroy announced Monday that he's taking a short break from golf after his gut-wrenching loss at the US Open over the weekend. McIlroy missed two short putts in the final three holes and ended up losing to Bryson DeChambeau by a single stroke, reports NBC Sports. "I'm going to take a few weeks away from the game to process everything and build myself back up," tweeted McIlory. Coverage is focusing on a remarkable stat:

  • 496: McIlory had made an incredible 496 straight putts from within 3 feet until Sunday's 16th hole, reports the Athletic. However, while leading by a stroke, he missed one from 30 inches, per the AP.

  • Two holes later: On the 18th, McIlroy then missed a putt from 3 feet, 9 inches, opening the door for DeChambeau's victory.
  • History: McIlroy has won four majors but has been in a decade-long drought on that front. "For context, McIlroy's implosion at the 2011 Masters—where he teed off in the final round with a four-stroke lead and in full flight, only to close with an 80—holds the honor of 'worst loss' in many minds, but the 124th U.S. Open somehow seemed worse," writes Rex Hoggard at NBC. After all, McIlroy was only 21 in 2011.
  • His view: "The one word that I would describe my career as is resilient," McIlroy wrote. "I've shown my resilience over and over again in the last 17 years and I will again." His next tournament will be the Genesis Scottish Open, which begins July 11.
(Just before the US Open, McIlroy had better news: He and his wife are calling off their divorce.)

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