"There's Not Much More Padraig Could Have Done" - McIlroy

McIlroy - Rory McIlroy opens up on his difficult Ryder Cup week at Whistling Straits

Harrington and McIlroy pictured at the 2020 Ryder Cup
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Rory McIlroy conceded that the Americans simply played better than Team Europe...

Rory McIlroy makes his first appearance out on the PGA Tour since the Ryder Cup this week at the CJ Cup.

The four-time Major winner had a forgettable experience at Whistling Straits, losing all of his three doubles matches and missing a session for the first time in his Ryder Cup career.

McIlroy led Team Europe out in the Sunday Singles and won his first point of the 2020 Ryder Cup against Xander Schauffele, before breaking down in tears in his post-round interviews.

The former World No.1 opened up on the week ahead of the CJ Cup and conceded that there wasn't much European captain Padraig Harrington could have done as his side lost by a record score of 19-9.

"From the whole process and being obviously involved and in the team room, there's not much more Padraig could have done," the Northern Irishman said.

"I said at the start, even before the week, the captains, they set the tone and they maybe create a little bit of the culture that week, but at the end of the day it's us, it's the players that are out there hitting the shots and trying to hole the putts, and Europe didn't hit the shots or hole the putts.

"When you look back on it, America just holed so many more putts than we did and got momentum early.

"They started matches so quick and they got the crowd on their side, they get momentum and when you're the away side and trying to fight back from that, it's very difficult.

"I certainly couldn't sit here and criticise anything that Padraig did.

"It was on the players to play better golf and hole putts and we didn't do that."

Related: Golf ball issues forced Harrington into last minute Ryder Cup changes

McIlroy also spoke about his emotion following the conclusion of play.

"I don't necessarily get emotional about golf, so I guess in that way it surprised me," he said.

"I think maybe I realised a couple of things about myself that I hadn't known, or maybe I had known but I was trying to keep down and not let them out.

"I was surprised at how emotional I got, but after a little bit of reflection over the last couple of weeks, I sort of realised why I did get that way."

Elliott Heath
News Editor

Elliott Heath is our News Editor and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news team as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as five Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. His first Open was in 2017 at Royal Birkdale, when he walked inside the ropes with Jordan Spieth during the Texan's memorable Claret Jug triumph. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Western Gailes, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays off of a six handicap. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!

Elliott is currently playing:

Driver: Titleist TSR4

3 wood: Titleist TSi2

Hybrids: Titleist 816 H1

Irons: Mizuno MP5 5-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: Srixon Z Star XV