ST. LOUIS — It looks like Rory McIlroy isn’t coming to New Jersey later this month.
McIlroy’s PGA Championship ended in such disappointment that as he left Bellerive Country Club on Sunday, he strongly hinted he might skip the Northern Trust at Ridgewood Country Club — the first of the FedExCup playoff events — in order to work on his game.
“I need to assess where I’m at,” McIlroy said after finishing 2-under for the tournament and 14 shots back of winner Brooks Koepka. “I think the best thing for me to do right now is take a couple of days off and reflect on what I need to do going forward. The best thing might be to take that first FedExCup week off and work on my game and hopefully come back, hopefully, in a better place for Boston [for the second FedExCup event].
“Historically, the first FedEx playoff event hasn’t been my best event of the four. I’ve played well in Boston. So, yeah, we’ll see. I’ll see how I feel. I’ll do some practice this week and see if I feel ready to go there and play, obviously, five out of six weeks or whatever it is leading up to the Ryder Cup.”
McIlroy, who hasn’t won a major since 2014, never got himself in contention and has been struggling with his short-iron game with distance-control issues.
“It’s been a year where I’ve shown glimpses of what I can do, but I just haven’t done it often enough,” McIlroy said. “It’s the major season over, and we have to wait a few months to the next one, but there’s still a lot of golf to play this year and quite a bit to play for.
“There’s a lot of room for improvement. My swing really hasn’t been where I want it to be. It was pretty good at the start of the year, but it’s sort of regressed as the season has went on. You start to fall back into some of the habits you don’t want to.
“I feel like I’ve put the work in. It’s not like I’ve been sitting on my ass and not doing anything. I’ve given myself chances and just haven’t quite played the golf I’ve needed to whenever it’s been called upon.”
McIlroy said there was nothing “memorable about” his major championship season — despite being in contention at both the Masters and British Open.
“I guess I had two chances, but I didn’t really contend the back nine at Augusta,” he said. “I didn’t get myself into contention in 2017, don’t really think I did in 2016, so I guess it’s been a positive from that standpoint.”