Rory McIlroy Announces Break from Golf After Close U.S. Open Finish

Rory McIlroy During the 2020 Arnold Palmer Invitational First Round Groupings at Bay HIll Club Lodge in Orlando Florida. Photo Credit: Marty Jean-Louis

Rory McIlroy announced on social media that he will withdraw from the Travelers Championship, following a heartbreaking runner-up finish at the U.S. Open. This marks his 11th top-five finish in a major since his last win at the 2014 PGA Championship.

“Yesterday was a tough day, probably the toughest I’ve had in my nearly 17 years as a professional golfer,” McIlroy wrote on Instagram. He congratulated the winner, Bryson DeChambeau, and reflected on his performance. “I’ll rue a few things over the course of the tournament, mostly the two missed putts on 16 and 18 on the final day. But, as I always try to do, I’ll look at the positives of the week that far outweigh the negatives. I’m going to take a few weeks away from the game to process everything and build myself back up for my defense of the Genesis Scottish Open and The Open at Royal Troon. See you in Scotland.”

McIlroy’s missed putts from inside four feet on the final three holes at Pinehurst No. 2 allowed DeChambeau to clinch victory with a tough up-and-down par on the 18th hole. This win marked DeChambeau’s second U.S. Open title, his first being in 2020.

McIlroy, who finished just one shot behind DeChambeau, is now a decade into a frustrating drought in major championships. Despite this, he remains optimistic and focused on his upcoming challenges.

The Travelers Championship, the final Signature Event of the 2024 PGA TOUR season and the only TOUR event in Connecticut, will miss McIlroy’s presence. Last year, Northeast native Keegan Bradley won the tournament. Despite McIlroy’s absence, the field will still feature top players such as world No. 1 Scottie Scheffler, Xander Schauffele, Viktor Hovland, Ludvig Åberg, Collin Morikawa, Patrick Cantlay, Sahith Theegala, Max Homa, and Wyndham Clark.

McIlroy, 35, has a strong track record at TPC River Highlands, with top-20 finishes in all five of his starts there. His best finish was T7 last year, and he boasts a career average of 67.15 over 20 rounds at the birdie-friendly course.

It’s been a busy few months for McIlroy, a 26-time PGA TOUR winner. His runner-up finish at the U.S. Open has moved him up to No. 3 in the FedExCup standings and No. 2 in the world rankings. He is on a run of six straight top-15 finishes, including victories at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans (with partner Shane Lowry) and the Wells Fargo Championship (his fourth victory in that event).

McIlroy will be the defending champion at the Genesis Scottish Open next month, where he won in dramatic fashion last summer with a birdie at the last hole to edge out Scotland’s Robert MacIntyre. The Open Championship at Royal Troon follows the Scottish Open, where McIlroy will aim to end his major drought.

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