Mexico City – Rory McIlroy never looked like he would regain
his world number one ranking on Sunday as a cold putter prevented him from
mounting a challenge in the final round at the WGC Mexico Championship.
Two strokes from the lead starting the day at Club de Golf
Chapultepec in Mexico City, McIlroy missed a seven-foot birdie chance at the
first hole, which set the tone for a frustrating afternoon.
“I needed to get off to a fast start and I didn’t. The course
got a little tricky over the weekend and maybe I didn’t adjust to that,” the
Northern Irishman told Golf Channel after shooting an even-par 71 to finish
equal seventh, four strokes behind winner Dustin Johnson.
A victory would have given McIlroy the world top ranking,
provided Johnson had finished worse than solo fourth.
“First start back, it’s OK, but being two ahead going into
the weekend (it is) obviously disappointing to finish where I have,” said the
four-times major champion, who had been out for six weeks with a rib injury.
“These two rounds were the sort of rounds I would have
expected the first two days, not the last two. I was hoping to improve as the
week went on.”
American Phil Mickelson also started on Sunday two strokes off
the pace, but he too shot 71.
But Mickelson said his preparation for the Masters in April
was largely on track.
“I hit a lot of good shots,” he said. “I know what I’m
trying to do and when I do it I’m able to execute and play golf at the level I
want, but unfortunately I had a bit of a relapse yesterday(Sunday).”
Third round leader Justin Thomas, meanwhile, faded with a 72
to finish three strokes behind Johnson.
“I got away with some bad shots yesterday and I was swinging
it bad again today,” Thomas said. “I think it just finally all caught up with