SAN DIEGO — Dissecting the losers (non-winners?) of main championships and the respective ramifications for every of them is typically as compelling as analyzing what the victory did for the winner.
Within the case of Sunday’s remaining spherical of the 121st U.S. Open at Torrey Pines, this query have to be requested when it pertains to two of the gamers who got here tantalizingly near profitable however in the end fell wanting winner Jon Rahm: When does a factor turn out to be a factor?
For 2 of the gamers who had one hand on the U.S. Open trophy as they performed the again 9, that point is NOW.
Of all of the gamers who entered the ultimate spherical in rivalry, Rory McIlroy wanted to win this U.S. Open greater than anybody else. You can also make the argument that, based mostly on his expertise and the place he stood on the leaderboard to start the day, McIlroy ought to have received.
You can too make that argument for Louis Oosthuizen, who seemed to be cruising to victory on the again 9 with the lead.
It’s been seven years since McIlroy received his final main championship and the sound of that clock ticking is rising louder and it can not assist however be maddening to him.
McIlroy’s finest is best than anybody else’s finest within the recreation. And to be 0-for-his-last-25 in main championships is as curious as it’s alarming.
Whether or not McIlroy desires to confess to it or not, this drought has turn out to be a factor.
For Oosthuizen, Sunday’s runner-up end to Rahm was his exceptional seventh profession second-place end at a serious championship since he received his solely main, the 2010 British Open.
Whether or not Oosthuizen desires to confess it or not, this run of runner-up finishes is also changing into a factor.
After it was over, McIlroy put such a constructive spin on his week that you just couldn’t assist however assume he’s doing all he can to persuade himself that he battled however got here up brief and that not profitable this U.S. Open isn’t such an enormous deal.
“Total, it’s been a constructive week,’’ McIlroy stated. “I gave myself a terrific likelihood right this moment. Even by 10 holes, I used to be proper within the thick of issues. It was actually two holes that mainly stopped the type of run on the title.’’
McIlroy was 4-under par and proper on Oosthuizen’s tail and he bogeyed No. 11 and doubled 12. Finish of championship hopes.
“As soon as I made these little errors on 11 and 12, I felt like I used to be simply chasing a bit bit, after which in the end couldn’t actually get something achieved from there,’’ he stated. “However general, it’s been an excellent week. I put up an excellent battle. Take these two holes out, the remainder of the week was actually good.’’
Can’t take these two holes out, although. These two holes, actually, in the end outlined McIlroy’s week greater than the opposite 70 he performed.
McIlroy started the day 3-under par and two photographs behind Russell Henley and Mackenzie Hughes, two gamers not skilled holding a lead in a serious, and Oosthuizen. He was in good place to return from behind and strike. However, in the long run, he couldn’t muster his finest golf when it counted.
Oosthuizen, like McIlroy one of the crucial affable gamers within the recreation, additionally tried to place a constructive spin on the week, although it’s clear he’s sick of ending second.
“I didn’t win it,’’ Oosthuizen stated. “I’m second once more. Look, it’s irritating. It’s disappointing. I performed good right this moment, however I didn’t play ok. I performed good; simply fell a bit brief once more.’’
Oosthuizen doomed his probabilities when, after Rahm had completed 6-under and one shot forward of him, he pulled a tee shot into the hazard on the left aspect of the seventeenth fairway and took bogey to fall two photographs again.
“It was Jon who performed a terrific spherical of golf — 4-under right this moment on that golf course is a extremely good rating,” Oosthuizen stated. “I really feel like I had my photographs, I went for it and that’s what you need to do to win majors. Generally it goes your means, and different instances it doesn’t.’’
It’s a factor.