Rory McIlroy laments fatal flaw that could wreck his Masters dream after dismal performance

Rory McIlroy, who has struggled to be consistent on the PGA Tour this season, finished tied for 21st at the Arnold Palmer Invitational on Sunday after a poor round of play.

Following a terrible showing at the Arnold Palmer Invitational on Sunday, Rory McIlroy is well aware of the issues with his game.

The world number two shot a four-over-par round of 76 on Sunday to finish at one-over for the tournament, 14 shots behind the winner Scottie Scheffler, after a stunning six-under-par back nine on Saturday helped him into contention at Bay Hill.

Leading the field in strokes gained, McIlroy has been the PGA Tour’s best player this season off the tee. Over the weekend in Florida, he also showed some improvement with his putter, but so far this season, his iron play has been his biggest weakness.

In terms of strokes gained in approach play, the Northern Irishman is ranked 152nd on the PGA Tour in 2024. He finished 55th out of 58 players at Bay Hill, demonstrating how costly his use of shorter clubs has been. The four-time major champion regularly loses control of shots to his left.

“Off the tee, another fantastic week. The last two days also seemed to have given me a positive feeling. At his post-round press conference on Sunday, a frustrated McIlroy said to reporters, “It’s just the iron play that’s let me down.” “Strugggling with a left miss with the irons has been a recurring theme for the past few weeks.

“It’s challenging because the irons don’t feel as good as the longer clubs, the woods, do. It’s difficult for me to swing the irons and the woods in two different ways right now, I feel. However, everything else feels fairly good, so I think I’ll be alright if I can tighten the irons.”

This week, McIlroy will be put to the test in one of the hardest golf tournaments, The Players at TPC Sawgrass, which he won in 2019. Since then, though, he has struggled with his form at Ponte Vedra Beach, missing the cut twice in his last three outings.

The four-time major champion is feeling good about his tee-box game, but he knows he needs to improve his iron play if he wants to be in the running for major titles this year. The Masters, which is the one hole in McIlroy’s collection, is coming up in just one month.

He declared, “I’m going to Sawgrass next week and I feel like I’m hitting it off the tee.” “I believe that’s half the fight if you can get the ball in play there. However, there are also tiny, difficult greens where you must hit the ball at the proper elevations and use a fairly accurate approach play.

In my mind right now, the approach play is what I’m having trouble with, but I have three days to try to work it out and finish some work. For the third consecutive week, I believe I will likely lead the field in strokes gained off the tee this week. The next step, the approach play, is crucial for me after I accomplish that.”

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