PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. — Rory McIlroy’s visit to the Monterey Peninsula ended earlier than he had hoped Saturday, as he missed the 54-hole cut at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.
McIlroy was making his 2018 debut on the PGA Tour and playing with his dad, Gerry, in the pro-am event. But an even-par 72 at Pebble Beach was not enough to overcome his Friday score, his only one above par this year.
“I wish I could have played a little bit better for him and wish we would have both been around to play tomorrow,” McIlroy said after missing the cut by 2 strokes. “But it was a really cool few days, and even though the golf didn’t quite go where we wanted it to, we still had a good time.”
McIlroy was undone over his final nine holes on Friday at Monterey Peninsula, where on the par-4 fifth hole — his 14th — he nearly drove the green, then 5-putted from the fringe for a double-bogey. He added two more three putts over the closing holes to shoot 3-over 74.
Needing to get under par Saturday to make the cut, McIlroy made three bogeys over the closing five holes on the front side and could not muster the charge necessary to play the final day at Pebble Beach.
“I hit the ball well. I hit the ball well at Spyglass [Thursday], and I scored well ,” he said. “I missed two greens yesterday, only missed one fairway, and I shot 3 over. So that wasn’t too good on the greens. Today I hit some really good shots, and I just need a few putts to fall, and I think sometimes with these poa annua greens, you start to get a little bit tentative with them, and it just gets away from you.
“So I let the greens get in my head a little bit, and it was hard to get out of that mindset.”
McIlroy will have extra time to prepare for the Genesis Open, where he will also see the same type of greens at Riviera Country Club this week. He is also scheduled to play the Honda Classic in two weeks.
A four-time major champion, McIlroy has not won since his 2016 Tour Championship victory. He took considerable time off at the end of 2017 to overcome an injury-plagued year and began 2018 with a third-place finish at a European Tour event in Abu Dhabi followed by a runner-up finish in Dubai.