So near, and yet so far. Rory McIlroy’s dreams of clinching his second Open looked like they may turn into reality yesterday morning, but in the end, it was not to be.
Clearly disappointed at the end of the day, McIlroy rued missing a few putts at St Andrews yesterday.
But the Co Down man was gracious, praising his main opponent and winner Cameron Smith as “a better player”.
And he remained optimistic about his future in the game, saying he will “dust himself off” and get on with it.
“It’s one that I feel like I let slip away, but there will be other opportunities,” he told the world’s media.
He also admitted he kept imagining seeing his name on top of the leaderboard behind the green at the end of play.
That positive mental attitude is markedly more mature than his club-throwing antics in the past.
He may have come close to ending an eight-year drought since his last win in the Majors, but his performance in the Open shows that McIlroy has plenty left in the tank.