McIlroys lose Alfred Dunhill Links team title on technicality

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McIlroys lose Alfred Dunhill Links team title on technicality

Euro Tour

McIlroys lose Alfred Dunhill Links team title on technicality

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Rory McIlroy nearly gave dad Gerry the perfect pre-60th birthday present, only for Team McIlroy to be denied the team title in the $5 million Alfred Dunhill Links Championship – on a technicality.

The McIlroys returned a closing 11-under 61 over St Andrews’s Old Course to join Tommy Fleetwood and amateur partner Ogden Phipps at the top of the leaderboard on 39 under par. Rory and Gerry were one shot better than the Fleetwood tandem, who returned a 62.

There is no playoff in the pro-am element of the tournament. In the event of a tie, the better professional score on the final day decides the team title, not the better team score. Since Fleetwood returned a 64 to McIlroy’s 67, the McIlroys had to settle for second place.

“We played as good as we could,” Rory said. “We shot 61, 62, 61 over the last three days. My dad played great. I did what I could for the team. I didn’t have my best this week. I could have maybe found a few extra shots in there.

“We had a great time. Going into today all we were wanting to do was to try and win the team event, and we gave it a really good run.

“We didn’t actually know that it was the lowest pro’s score, which I think is a little unfair – it should be the lowest team score and we would have won.”

Low handicapper Gerry, who has memberships at Holywood Golf Club in Northern Ireland and Seminole Golf Club in Juno Beach, Florida, was responsible for most of team McIlroy’s score.

“He’s had four or five net eagles this week, and he’s only been getting three shots,” Rory said. “He shot 3-under gross at Kingsbarns on Friday. He must have shot two or three under on his own ball on the back nine yesterday and it was the same today. He’s had a great time, as we both have.”

So, given they came so close this year, can we expect the McIlroys to try to go one place better next year?

“I’m not sure,” Rory said. “Look, if he wants to, then I will. But I don’t have any real ambitions to play again. I’m happy enough with what we’ve done.”

Title sponsors Alfred Dunhill will be hoping Gerry wants the same again for his 61st birthday.

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