After what many – including himself – considered a lost season on the US PGA Tour, Rory McIlroy is playing two last European Tour events to try and finish his 2017 season with a bang. A week ago at the British Masters, he nearly did, finishing in solo second at 17-under, three shots back of Ireland’s Paul Dunne, with a 64-63 weekend showing.
This week, McIlroy is teeing it up in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, his final event of the year. The tournament takes place at three of Scotland’s finest courses, Kingsbarns, Carnoustie and the Old Course at St Andrews, and McIlroy is once again playing with his father, Gerry, in the pro-am portion of the event. The Northern Irishman opened with the Old Course on Friday morning (NZDT), and struggled, carding a one-over 73 that has him six shots back of the aforementioned Dunne, who is looking for a second consecutive victory.
McIlroy did not struggle, however, at the famous par-4 18th. With 360 yards (329 metres) to reach the green, the four-time Major champion pulled out the driver and rolled it up close with relative ease:
Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to convert the eagle and get back to level par. While he’s had plenty of issues with his game this season, the driver was certainly not one of them. McIlroy ranked first in driving distance on the US PGA Tour, and third in strokes gained/off the tee. Clearly, the lingering rib injury has not hindered his ability to still let it rip.