McIlroy: "I let the greens yesterday get into my head a little bit"

McIlroy: "I let the greens yesterday get into my head a little bit"
Rory McIlroy almost holed his third at the 18th

Rory McIlroy almost holed his third at the 18th

Not even a stroke of genius — and a near eagle — at the last could ease Rory McIlroy's disappointment at missing the cut in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

Yes, he almost holed a 240-yard approach after his drive on the 18th at Pebble Beach dropped into the water. But while he took a drop and hit the pin before rolling in the nine footer for an outstanding birdie, a level par 72 was not enough to undo the damage of that back nine putting meltdown at Monterey Peninsula on Friday.

"I wish I could have played a little bit better for him and wish we would have both been around to play tomorrow," McIlroy said of his father, Gerry, after missing the cut by two.

"But it was a really cool few days, and even though the golf didn't quite go where we wanted it to, we still had a good time."

There was the putting on Friday, of course, and he hadn't forgotten the 38 putt round.

"I hit the ball well," McIlroy said shortly after hurling his ball into the Pacific Ocean having missed his first cut since last September's Dell Technologies Championship.

"I hit the ball well in Spyglass and scored well. I missed two greens yesterday and only one fairway and shot three over so that wasn't too good on the greens.

"Today, I hit some good shots and I just need a few putts to fall. I think sometimes that with these poa greens, if you start to get a little bit tentative with them it just gets away from you.

"I let the greens yesterday get into my head a little bit and it was hard to get out of that mindset so a little bit of work over the next few days and get myself ready for Riviera." 

Bar Shane Lowry, who shot a 68 in windy conditions at Spyglass Hill to go into the final round seven shots behind Dustin Johnson and Ted Potter Jnr, it was a bad week for the Irish.

McIlroy (68-74-72-214) will remember the week for those 38 putts (+) on Friday while Paul Dunne (71-72-77-220), Pádraig Harrington (75-76-71-222), Seamus Power(72-72-78-222) and Graeme McDowell (71-80-74-225) also missed the three-under (212) cut comfortably.

McIlroy's struggle on the greens is a concern and he may find similar poa annua surfaces a mental challenge in next week's Genesis Open at Riviera.

The good news is that he's still hitting the ball very well and will be back 'home' for the Honda Classic the week after next, determined to get his confidence levels up before the Masters Tournament at Augusta National in 54 days' time.

As for the Pebble Beach Pro-Am, Johnson shot a 70 at Pebble Beach as Potter Jnr posted a 62 at Monterey Peninsula that might have been a 59 had he not bogeyed his last two holes.

With the top 15 on the leaderboard covered by just six shots, a dramatic finish is possible. And while Lowry is a further shot back, an improvement on his 73 at Pebble Beach on Friday is required to give Irish viewers some joy.