Despite fans singing ‘Happy Birthday’ all about the Quail Hollow course and also including a large group of fans around the clubhouse also breaking into song, McIlroy could only muster a final round 70 for a then share of eighth place at eight under.
The effort is McIlroy’s fifth top-10 result in eight events on this year’s PGA Tour.
* West Waterford’s Gary Hurley will be one of the favourites to lift the Irish Amateur Open at Royal Dublin this week after finishing tied for fourth in the Lytham Trophy at Royal Lytham and St Annes.
The 21-year old Ireland international, who was only beaten by eventual champion Jack Hume in the semi-finals of the West of Ireland Championship last month, went into yesterday’s last two rounds five strokes adrift of Germany’s Hurly Long.
But as Long shot rounds of 71 and 77 to fade to sixth on six over par, Hurley shot a one under 72 in the morning and then added a one under 69 in the afternoon to finish tied for fourth with Sweden’s Marcus Kinhult on four over par 284
South Africa’s Thriston Lawrence, who will also be in the elite 120-strong field at Royal Dublin, came from three behind Long overnight to card rounds of 72 and 68 to win the 50th staging of the event by a stroke on one over par 281 from Darius Van Driel of the Netherlands, who closed with a best-of-the-week 66 to set the target at two over 282.
Ballymena’s Dermot McElroy was disappointed with his putting as he finished tied for seventh on eight over after following a third round 69 with a 73.
“I played very solid this afternoon but I just couldn’t get a break today,” McElroy said.
* Felipe Aguilar produced a breathtaking back nine to storm to The Championship at Laguna National title in Singapore.
Aguilar began the day four shots off the pace and made two birdies in his opening nine holes before his round came to life after the turn.
The Chilean recorded a further six birdies, but it was his eagle on the last that took him to 22 under par overall and a one-shot victory over American David Lipsky and Anders Hansen of Denmark.
Aguilar came home in 28 to record a 10-under-par final round and seal his second victory on the European Tour, with his other success coming in the Enjoy Jakarta Astro Indonesia Open in February 2008. Irish pair Peter Lawrie and Simon Thornton were tied 20th after finishing on 276 and each collected €12,430
Gareth Maybin carded a 75 yesterday for a 283 overall.
* Emma O’Driscoll produced a highly-polished performance to grab a share of third in the Welsh Ladies Open stroke-play championship. The 20-year-old Dublin University student recorded a 54-hole aggregate of 218- seven under par- to finish just two strokes adrift of Scottish star Eilidh Briggs.