“It’s the ficklest of fickle, this game.”
So, so fickle. While McIlroy needed no reminder of golf’s ups and downs, he was slapped in the face with it no more than a day later. On Thursday, McIlroy eagled the par-4 14th at the Albany Golf Course. And then there was Friday. Oh, oh, Friday.
From the tee, McIlroy covered the tight 307-yarder in one stroke, his first shot falling left of the green and pin high. He pitched on with stroke two, but left it about 25 feet short and grunted. Then he putted. Oh, oh, did he putt.
McIlroy looked at it from behind the hole and from behind the ball, but clearly did not see the line. Nor the speed. He putted the right-to-lefter, the ball fell off the correct path about halfway through and it kept trucking. It finished past the hole, off the green and next to a drainage hole, about 25 yards from the cup.
“Well, this wasn’t so great, that’s for sure,” analyst David Feherty said on the Golf Channel broadcast. The popular Rory McIlroy Twitter account, @RMTracker, called it “the worst putt of Rory’s entire career.”
Chip two, and stroke four, went back up the slope and about 15 feet past the hole, to just about where the first putt fell off the proper line. From there, McIlroy putted, saw it, too, run by the hole and stood up as he wondered whether it, too, would run off the green. It didn’t, and he made the 6-foot comebacker for a double-bogey six.
“We’ve seen twos and threes at 14 all day,” announcer Steve Sands said on the broadcast. “That’s a six for McIlroy.”
“Boy, that stings,” Feherty said. “A little tiny par-4. It just goes to show you — risk-reward.”