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Irish Team Disappointed in Final Round of World Cup
The Irish duo of Graeme McDowell and Rory McIlroy were in perfect position to pull off their country's third overall World Cup title on Sunday. The past two U.S. Open champions had a two-stroke lead heading into the final-round foursomes (alternate-shot) matches.
Unfortunately, the two "Macs" weren't able to have their name etched on the Cup alongside the previous winners from Ireland, Harry Bradshaw and Christy O'Connor in 1958 and Padraig Harrington and Paul McGinley in 1997, closing with an even-par 72 on the Blackstone course at Mission Hills in China.
Carding four birdies and a like number of bogeys - including a pair of lost strokes on two par-5s, the Irish ended up tied for fourth with Australia, the Netherlands and Scotland, three strokes behind the winning American team of Matt Kuchar and Gary Woodland.
On Sunday, McDowell and McIlroy sat down with the media and explained their disappointing performance. Here's what they told reporters during that Q&A.
GRAEME McDOWELL: We just didn't have it out there today. We had no mojo. We didn't make anything. We had two of probably the best breaks we had all year on the two par-5s and we made 6 off both of them. That was really just the story of the day. Made nothing. Just couldn't get it going. You know, we knew what we had to do today. Our target was to go and shoot 4 under par and that's exactly what we needed to do. We just couldn't get it done. Disappointed, of course, but this is a high quality golf tournament. The USA have played fantastic, England have played phenomenally well and that was the high standard that we had to live up to today and we just didn't do it.
Q. Any reason for it?
RORY McILROY: Not really. Foursomes, it's a difficult format. You know, if you lose your rhythm slightly, it's very hard to get it back. You can go a few holes without hitting an iron shot or a few holes without hitting a putt, and that was basically the story of our day, just really didn't get anything going. You know, I didn't get us off to the best of starts, missing a little putt on the first, but we hung in there tough on the front nine, and we made birdie on 10, which we thought might have sort of kick started something, but as Graeme said, we got two good breaks on two par 5s and ended up not taking advantage of them and that cost us. You know, we just found it very difficult to make birdies out there.
Q. And essentially, you were right in it at the halfway stage on the final day and you tried to force the issue, and you can't do that in foursomes.
GRAEME McDOWELL: Yeah, my iron play was very off the boil on the back nine. I had not hit an iron shot for five holes and pulled it left at 10 and Rory just chips in, phenomenal birdie there. You know, my iron play was just weak on the back nine. I put us in bad positions and we just made nothing, as well. So it was a frustrating day. It's twice we have come up short in this tournament. We love this tournament. We have really enjoyed playing together, and hopefully we'll get a couple more shots at it. We had our chances today but like I say, a high level of golf and we just didn't quite make the birdies, like Rory says today.
Q. That chip in was very special, and then the spirits must have lifted?
RORY McILROY: Yeah, of course it did. As I said, that was really what we thought was going to get us going to kick start something and we got a good up and down on 11. Just every time we felt like we were getting a bit of momentum, we sort of threw it away again. Like we birdied 5, and I drove it in a bad position on 6 and ended up getting away with it. Every time we sort of made a birdie, we took a step backwards again, which is the story of the day.
Q. You've got a busy turnaround with Ryo Ishikawa in Japan and then onto Hong Kong.
RORY McILROY: I'm looking forward to it. I have an exhibition with Ryo tomorrow in Japan. It will be fun. It's for a great cause, as well. It's for the earthquake and tsunami fund so a lot of money going towards charity tomorrow. I'm expecting a huge crowd, as always, with Ryo in Japan, and everywhere he goes in the world. You know, it will be a fun day and then obviously going back to Hong Kong, one of my favorite spots of the year. So looking forward to it.
Q. A lot more still to play for.
GRAEME McDOWELL: Yeah, I'm off to Sun City and then off to Dubai. It's back at it tomorrow and disappointed right now and it will hurt this evening, but no biggy. We have got a few tournaments in us I would say.
The transcript for the above interview is courtesy of ASAP Sports.
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