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The Open: Rory McIlroy says 17 birdies should have been enough for him to be in contention at Royal St George's

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Rory McIlroy admitted mistakes proved costly after a topsy-turvy week at The Open in Sandwich.

The 32-year-old, who won The Open in 2014 and has recorded three top-five finishes since, was always on the periphery at Royal St George’s.

Rory McIlroy, left, alongside playing partner Richard Bland on day three. Picture: Barry Goodwin (49307676)
Rory McIlroy, left, alongside playing partner Richard Bland on day three. Picture: Barry Goodwin (49307676)

He closed at one over par after a final-day 71, a round that epitomised his week with four birdies surpassed by five dropped shots, including a double bogey at 10.

“I need to look at the positives,” said McIlroy. “And the positives are I made enough birdies this week to contend in the golf tournament.

“I made too many mistakes. I think that's going to happen a little bit when you're trying to do some things a little bit differently. Those bogeys don't come from a bad swing, just a bad decision or you’re trying to do something you shouldn't do.

“I could probably pick two or three things today that I made more bad decisions and mental errors. Hitting clubs that I was barely going to - it's fine margins at the end of the day, and I just need to do a better job of when I do have those sort of in-between shots and when I have situations where it's okay to put this in the middle of the green and make par.

“I need to do a better job of just maybe being a little bit more disciplined out there. I think if I did that, I probably avoid a few of the bogeys that I made this week.”

Some of McIlroy’s golf was of the highest order, but he was unable to maintain that consistency despite a strong support from the crowds around the links course.

McIlroy added: “There are a lot of birdies in there but a lot of bogeys, too. I think it's just more the bogey avoidance and the mental errors, because I've made 17 birdies this week, which is more than enough to challenge to win this golf tournament.

“It's just I make too many mistakes, and that's the part that I need to try to get right.

“Whether that's trying to be a little too aggressive from bad spots or putting myself in bad spots to begin with, but it's just a matter of just trying to iron out the mistakes.

“There is enough good stuff in there to contend at these golf tournaments, but I'm just not allowing myself to do that with some the mistakes I'm making.”

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