VIRGINIA WATER, England – Rory McIlroy clearly isn’t as fine-tuned as the high-performance cars placed around Wentworth Golf Club for the $7 million BMW PGA Championship.
His engine needs some maintenance.
McIlroy should have won this tournament after entering the weekend in poll position. Instead he finished second to Francesco Molinari.
A former world No. 1, McIlory began the final round Sunday tied for the lead with Molinari on 13 under. The majority of the huge gallery following the final group expected McIlroy to earn his second win here, to pair with his victory in 2014.
Molinari, instead, was the one who put on a swing clinic.
The Italian Molinari posted a 17-under-par 281. That gave him a two-shot victory over McIlroy, earning him $1,166,660.
The gallery learned a very important lesson: the popular Northern Irishman struggles to grind out a win when his swing isn’t quite there.
Those who watched McIlroy take a three-shot lead after 36 holes left thinking he was on his way to an easy victory. It seemed a foregone conclusion after a peerless 7-under-par second round 65. The next two rounds – 71 and 70 – were as hard to fathom as his closing 74 in the final round of this year’s Masters.
“I struggled yesterday and I struggled today,” McIlroy said. “I need to work on a few things. A couple of shots that cost me yesterday I missed to the right. Today the shots that cost me missed to the left. When you’re missing shots left and right it’s very difficult.”
McIlroy must dream of Molinari’s consistency. Molinari, 35, finally got his hands on the trophy after five top 10 in his last six starts, including second last year. The five-time European Tour winner only dropped two shots all week. He was bogey free for his last 44 holes.
“I haven’t won a lot in my career,” Molinari said. “Hopefully this will be the start of a different part of my career. I showed today that if I play my best I’m hard to beat. I just have to do it more.”
Molinari can look forward to a third Ryder Cup appearance this year. McIlroy is facing long hours on the range, because a misfiring Rory McIlroy probably isn’t going to challenge for majors this year.