FOR a man who began the week with a performance that ranked as “the worst I have ever hit it as aprofessional,” Rory McIlroy left the Egyptian Open the knowledge that he is on the way back to his after finishing the tournament with his lowest score of the week, a four under par 68.
That final round effort, for a six under aggregate of 212, saw the Irishman finish the week in a tie for 12th position, seven shots behind the champion Mark Tullo of Chile who posted a brilliant six under 66 to take the US$40,000 first prize ahead of Scotland’s George Murray and Dutchman Floris de Vries.
Four under was the worst possible score McIlroy could have compiled around the JW Marriott Mirage City Golf Club yesterday as his swing-changing labours bore fruit and led to the kind of prodigious display that has taken the 21 year-old to the World number nine spot.
“That was the lowest of the week and it could have been a lot better as well,” confirmed McIlroy. “I played really nicely today and carried it on from yesterday and hit some really nice shots and it was definitely the best that I played all week.
“I missed four short ones for birdie in-a-row, all inside eight feet, on the back nine so it could have been very, very good but that’s the way it goes.
“It’s encouraging for the rest of the season. There was a massive difference between how I hit the ball on Wednesday in the first round and how I hit it today so that’s really good.
“Wednesday was really bad – it was the worst that I have ever hit it as a professional, put it that way. Thursday was a bit better and then Friday was good and I carried that into the final round today.
“I had just got into a bad habit so the change was something that I needed to do. I still have a bit of work today next week at home with my coach but I am on the right track so pleased about that.”
While McIlroy makes his way home to Belfast to continue his swing rehabilitation work before heading east for the WGC–HSBC Champions tournament in Shanghai, the European Challenge Tour players that he starred alongside in Egypt will make their way to southern Italy for the Apulia San Domenico Grand Final, where the top 20 on the end of season Rankings will be determined and promoted to The European Tour.
McIlroy was hugely impressed by the set-up in Egypt – as well as the standard of play on the Challenge Tour – and, despite his performance on the golf course at the beginning of the week, thoroughly enjoyed his time in the land of the Pyramids.
“Overall this week has been really good, I have really enjoyed the trip to Egypt,” he said. “The golf course was nice and in fantastic condition and the hotel resort was excellent.”
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