Rory McIlroy and Padraig Harrington will relieve their US PGA frustrations by chasing birdies this week.
The pair finished near the back of the field on 11 over par after closing 74’s in steamy Atlanta.
But while the Dubliner is a last minute entry for this week’s Wyndham Championship in Greensboro in desperate bid to make the FedEx Cup play-offs, McIlroy will be at the tennis in Cincinnati, swooning over new love match Caroline Wozniacki.
The US bound Holywood ace, 22, hasn’t openly said that he’s going out with the stunning Danish world No 1. But he smiled cheekily yesterday when asked if he planned to do some house hunting in the US ahead of his move to the PGA Tour next year.
Beaming at reporters said: “No, I’m not. I’m actually going to go to Cincinnati for a few days. I hear it’s nice there this time of year.”
McIlroy could certainly afford to laugh about his love life but he endured a frustrating end to his US season and a disappointing bid for the final major of the year.
He jarred his wrist and right arm when he whacked a root attempting a high-risk shot out of the trees on the third hole in the first round.
But despite playing with heavy strapping on his sore arm, he still finished second only to Gary Woodland for driving distance, blasting the ball an average of 318 yards off the tee.
Set to rest of the next two weeks, McIlroy said: “It’s been a frustrating week. I have basically played 70 holes out of 72 of this golf tournament with, not a serious injury, but I wasn’t at 100 percent so it was frustrating not to be able to play the way I wanted to.
“But I got through the tournament and I was proud of that and I am looking forward just to taking a couple of weeks off and making sure that I come back fully fit when I’m ready.
“It’s definitely not as painful as it was, but it seems like the pain went a little further up my arm and more into the inside of my elbow and pronator muscle.”
McIlroy’s putting was his real Achilles’ Heel as he three-putted seven times in four rounds - nine times if you count two efforts from off the green on the first day.
The third hole was a total nightmare for him as he played it in six over for the week after coming off second best in a tangle with a tree root on Thursday.
After bogeys on the 475-yard par four on the first three days, he racked up a triple bogey seven yesterday when he bunkered his approach, sent his third shot over the green and then three-putted from just three feet.
Three over for the day, he visited a beer tent after wild approach to the ninth and finished with four birdies and five bogeys in his last 13 holes.
But when he reflected on his year in the majors and hopes for next season, the US Open champion was delighted with his progress in the game.
After following his implosion at the Masters with an eight-shot major win at Congressional, he preferred to focus on the positives rather than his disappointing weeks in the Open and the US PGA.
He said: “It has been great. To get my first Major at the US Open was great and I learned a lot at the Masters, that was a huge learning curve for me.
“Leading for 63 holes there and not being able to finish it off but then coming back the next time and winning.
“The last two Majors of the year have been funny. I’ve had to deal with a bit more attention than I usually would get and I have learned a lot from that as well.
“So it has been a great learning year for me and there have been a lot of positives to take.”
McIlroy plans to rest his injured arm at home on his return from Cincinnati but then plans to head back to the US to see Wozniacki try and match him by winning her first major at the US Open from August 29.
But it will be all work and no play for Harrington after he cancelled a family holiday in the Bahamas this week to try and make the top 125 who qualify for the FedEx Cup play-offs in two weeks.
Needing a top finish in the final counting Wyndham Championship in Greensboro to make it to The Barclays, the world No 69 is desperate to halt is slide down the world rankings.
He said: “I would love a holiday but I’m okay that way. I think I’m fine. Hopefully won’t get a week off for three or four weeks because that will mean I’m going well in the play-offs.”
The Dubliner, who turns 40 on August 31, wants to haul himself back into the world’s top 50 and make a good start of the European Ryder Cup qualifying process in two weeks’ time
But when he reflected on his year in the majors he could only give himself a grade “D” after missing the cut in the Masters and the Open and making up the numbers in the other two majors.
His second round 69 in Atlanta was his first sub-70 round in a major for two years but he hopes it was a sign that things are about to turn around.
Harrington said: “In the majors I’d get a D for effort. If you put your name on the paper and write down the questions you’d get a pass.
“But there’s still a lot of golf to be played this year. There’s time for me to have many wins and I could have a bumper season yet.”
If he fails to qualify for the FedEx Cup he will play in European instead, even though he needs a break and hopes to start seeing coach Pete Cowen.
He said: “Certainly I think I need now to get some time off where I can go and work with Pete Cowen and see what he has to say on a number of things.”
Refusing to look ahead to next year’s major, Harrington added: “I have to find some time off but I’m focussed on the next couple of months.
“The Masters will look after itself when we get to January. I want to play well for the last three months of the year, get a number of wins and finish off the season well.”