HAMILTON– Rory McIlroy is once again in a familiar spot. In contention at a PGA Tour event. After shooting a bogey-free six-under 64, McIlroy has a share of the lead heading into the final round of the RBC Canadian Open.
But despite being in the mix at multiple events, McIlroy has only managed to win once this year. Granted, it was the PLAYERS Championship. But Rory has secured nine top-10 finishes, where before his win at TPC Sawgrass, he struggled to perform in the final round.
Rory McIlroy Must Rely on Perspective to Win Canadian Open
The antidote to quell those underperforming final rounds? Patience and Perspective. Two qualities that go hand in hand for a golfer. And that McIlroy must rely on if he is to capture his 16th victory on the PGA Tour.
“I just have to concentrate on what I can do,” stated McIlroy after his third round. “Perspective has been a word I’ve used a lot this year, along with patience and persistence. They’re things I have to keep reminding myself of, to ease the tension and make things simpler.”
Playing Free and Aggressive Key for Rory McIlroy’s Success
On Moving Day, Hamilton Golf & Country Club showed that it can be unforgiving when the wind picks up. It required a golfer like Rory McIlroy to not be tentative and play with freedom. And pick the appropriate holes to showcase his aggressive style of play.
“I think you got to pick and choose your spots,” stated McIlroy. “I stayed aggressive on the first tee this afternoon and was able to make birdie. If the hole location’s in a good spot for driver tomorrow I’ll use that club.”
All facets of McIlroy’s game have been firing on all cylinders. In the third round, McIlroy was second in driving distance (322.4 yards), hit 10 of 14 fairways and 14 of 18 greens in regulation. For the tournament, Rory has demonstrated his affinity to gain on the field tee to green. He is currently first in Strokes Gained: Off the Tee (4.91), third in Strokes Gained: Tee to Green (8.26) and ninth in Strokes Gained: Putting (4.15). Given the difficult, windy conditions that the golfers had to endure today, it highlights that McIlroy’s game is on an accelerated trajectory compared to last week, when he missed the cut at the Memorial.
“A week can make a big difference,” says McIlroy. “I got the driver going a bit better, and my wedge play is much improved. I was grateful for the opportunity to work on my game a bit over the weekend.”
McIlroy Will Have to Conquer a Cluttered Leaderboard to Win Canadian Open
Winning the RBC Canadian Open would be a sizeable accomplishment for McIlroy. Not only is it the first time he has competed in this tournament but he would dethrone a plethora of golfers looking to steal his place at the top of the leaderboard. Matt Kuchar and Webb Simpson, currently tied with McIlroy, have demonstrated their ability to have success on this golf course. Simpson currently leads the field in Strokes Gained: Putting while Kuchar is fourth. The low Canadian Adam Hadwin, who shot a third round 67, will have the home country behind him as he tries to become the first Canadian-born golfer to win the RBC Canadian Open since Karl Keffer in 1914. Hadwin’s game has been trending in the right direction and he hopes he can put the pieces together to produce a stellar final round for the Canadian fans.
“I’ve done a lot of really good things,” said Hadwin. “I’m missing a couple putts out there but even if I didn’t drive it that well, I had some really good iron shots on the back.”
But what Rory McIlroy has on the field is a large dose of perspective. It enabled the four-time major champion to conquer the adversity of answering question after question about his disappointing final round performances.
And now, it gives him a chance to seal the deal at a venue that McIlroy has embraced and thoroughly enjoyed.
“The Canadian fans really come out and support this event,” said McIlroy. “It’s probably the best atmosphere I’ve played in a long time. I’ve really enjoyed my time here and excited to get to play in front of them again tomorrow.”