'A Week Of What Could Have Been’ - McIlroy On FedEx St Jude Championship Performance

The Northern Irishman started the day five shots back and, in the end, fell just one short of a playoff after a final-round 65

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland lines up a putt on the sixth green during the final round of the FedEx St. Jude Championship
Rory McIlroy continued his good run with a T3 finish at the FedEx St Jude Championship
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Rory McIlroy reflected on another confidence-building performance despite his final-round charge leaving him agonisingly close to a playoff at the FedEx St Jude Championship. 

McIlroy started the day five shots back of overnight leader Lucas Glover but sprung into life with a superb bogey-free round of 65 to reach -15. 

His efforts were outdone, however, by his playing partner Patrick Cantlay who went one better, with his six-under-par round of 64 enough to earn the American a spot in a playoff which he eventually lost against Glover.

“I guess sort of it feels like a week of what could have been,” the Northern Irishman reflected after his round. “Everyone in this field could think about the shots that they could have saved over the course of the four days, but I just think with how good my game has felt from tee to green, I could have maybe taken more advantage of that over the last few days.

“But still, it's another really solid tournament. If anything it's just another block in the wall in terms of building the confidence, and from where my confidence was at the PGA Championship in May to where it is now, it's completely different.”

McIlroy flew out of the traps on Sunday, birdieing three of his first four holes as he looked to close the gap to Glover at the top. He found another on the 13th but, despite a rare birdie on the 18th, fell one short of the playoff at -16.

Still, it represents another week of unrelenting consistency for McIlroy who last finished outside the top ten at the Wells Fargo Championship in early May. He will also feel vindicated in his decision to change putter prior to this tournament having holed over 100 feet of putts in his final round.

“My game is in really good shape,” he added. “I think tee to green, this is just a continuation of what I've been seeing over the past couple of months. Ever since the PGA Championship all the way through to here, ball-striking-wise tee to green it's been really good. I started to hole a few more putts on the weekend here and got myself up the leaderboard..”

The World No. 2 currently sits third in the season-long FedEx Cup standings as the top 50 head to the BMW Championship. Only the top 30 head to the Tour Championship at East Lake, which McIlroy one last year after an incredible final-round performance.

“I'm certainly happy with the start,” he ended. “I wish I could have been a couple better, but nothing but confidence going into Chicago.”

Ben Fleming

Ben joined Golf Monthly having completed his NCTJ in multimedia sports journalism at News Associates, London. He has covered a variety of sports and has also worked as a freelance journalist for The Independent and Stats Perform. An avid, albeit distinctly average golfer, he is a member of Nevill Golf Club. One of his best golfing moment was winning a 100/1 bet on Seamus Power and Thomas Detry to finish first and second at the 2022 Bermuda Championship.