Rory McIlroy laments the end of the Open Championship: “I was beaten by the better player this week”

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Rory McIlroy started round four of the Open Championship in first place, four shots ahead of eventual winner Cam Smith.

McIlroy couldn’t find his putter shot.

He only made two birdies in the last round and finished with a 70, which probably would have won him the tournament if Smith hadn’t had eight birdies. McIlroy dropped to third place after Cameron Young on March 18.

The Northern Irishman spoke to NBC’s Kathryn Tappen after the round.

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Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland plays his second shot on the fourth hole during the final round of the 150th Open at the Old Course at St Andrews on July 17, 2022 in St Andrews, Scotland.

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland plays his second shot on the fourth hole during the final round of the 150th Open at the Old Course at St Andrews on July 17, 2022 in St Andrews, Scotland.
(David Cannon/Getty Images)

“Just disappointment I guess,” he said when asked for his opinion on the round. “I had a great opportunity to contribute to that great tally, but I didn’t quite make it. I didn’t feel like I did many things wrong I did what I wanted to do. I played a really controlled round of golf. I didn’t use some of the holes I used this week.

“Both Camerons, but especially Cam Smith, made that run up the back nine. I had to really try to dig deep and make some birdies and I just couldn’t. I got beaten by the better player this week. To go shooting 64 to win an Open Championship at St Andrews is a hell of an achievement. Kudos to Cam, he’s had an incredible week.”

THE OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP 2022: CAM SMITH COLLECTS FIRST MAJOR TITLE AFTER INCREDIBLE FINAL

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland acknowledges the crowd on the 18th green during the 150th Open at St Andrews Old Course on July 17, 2022 in St Andrews, Scotland.

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland acknowledges the crowd on the 18th green during the 150th Open at St Andrews Old Course on July 17, 2022 in St Andrews, Scotland.
(Harry How/Getty Images)

McIlroy said he knew he could win the tournament, which would have been his first major title in eight years. In 2014 he won the Open Championship and the PGA Championship.

“I knew I could do this,” he said. “I love this golf course. I play well here. The last two Opens I’ve played here I’ve finished third both times US Open, eighth in the PGA – I’m knocking on the door. I just have to be patient and keep knocking on the door, and eventually one will open for me again.

Although the major tournaments of the golf season have ended, the FedEx Cup is still in play for McIlroy. He is fourth after the Scottish Open. He has 1,894 points in 12 events. Scottie Scheffler leads by 3,514 after four wins in FedEx Cup tournaments.

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland looks dejected on the 18th green during the 150th Open at St Andrews Old Course on July 17, 2022 in St Andrews, Scotland.

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland looks dejected on the 18th green during the 150th Open at St Andrews Old Course on July 17, 2022 in St Andrews, Scotland.
(Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

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There are six tournaments left on the 2021-22 PGA Tour schedule. The 3M Open is scheduled for July 21st.

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