SANDWICH, England -- As Rory McIlroy was busy assessing his week at the Open, his words were briefly drowned out by rain pelting the interview tent. The sequence was fitting, since it was Royal St. George's weather -- at least in McIlroy's estimation -- that proved to be his biggest opponent all week.
After riding into the Open on a wave of Rory-mania following his win last month at Congressional, McIlroy attributed his seven-over par finish here, capped by a closing 73, to the unpredictable conditions sweeping in off Sandwich Bay. This may seem like sacrilege for any golfer -- let alone one hailing from Northern Ireland -- to suggest. But when it came to what went wrong at the Open, McIlroy sounded like he was raised in Palm Springs.
"I'm not a fan of golf tournaments that are predicted so much by the weather," he said. "It's not my sort of golf."
Given that most tour players, even Phil Mickelson, have attempted to adjust their games to handle the Open's myriad conditions, it was proposed to McIlroy he would need to do the same to contend in the game's oldest championship. McIlroy didn't necessarily agree.
"It's either that or just wait for a year when the weather is nice," he said. "My game is suited for basically every golf course and most conditions, but these conditions I don't enjoy playing in really. That's the bottom line. I'd rather play when it's 80 degrees and sunny and not much wind."
(Related: An up-close look at McIlroy's swing)
McIlroy's frustration was exacerbated by a sequence on the par-5 seventh, when he was lining up a birdie putt, and a gust of wind caused his ball to move. A penalty stroke led to a bogey.
"It's just tough to be -- you're looking at an eight-foot birdie putt and then all of a sudden it's for a par and then you're a bit scrambled and you miss it and end up making bogey."
By that point, McIlroy's hopes of winning a second straight major were already discard, but it did speak to what he said he confronted all week.
"I obviously have high expectations myself, and I know if the weather had been a little better this week, I probably would have been able to contend a bit more. But it's just the way it goes."
-- Sam Weinman
(Photo: Scott Halleran/Getty Images)