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Agony for Rory McIlroy as nothing drops his way

Golfer came up short in the US Open; Mayo and Galway go the long way round; Munster and Leinster’s journeys come to an end

Rory McIlroy reacts after finishing the 18th hole during the final round of the US Open on Sunday night. Photograph: Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Oh Rory. The sporting weekend had already provided no end of spills and thrills, but it concluded at Pinehurst in the most agonising fashion imaginable, McIlroy allowing a two stroke lead with five holes to go to “drip, drip away” in the final round of the US Open. Philip Reid was left with the task of finding the words to sum up the implosion, Bryson DeChambeau’s “shot for the ages” from the bunker on the 18th leaving him with a four foot putt to seal victory, McIlroy’s “dream of a fifth career Major title in ruins”. Was it a choke? Yes, sadly it was, writes Malachy Clerkin. In contrast, Tom McKibbin and Shane Lowry were able to leave Pinehurst with a spring in their step, McKibbin impressing on his Major debut while Lowry showed no little resilience, just a week after a closing 85 in the Memorial, to finish in the top twenty.

The eight counties through to the preliminary quarter-finals in the football championship, the draw for which was made earlier this morning, will have to show a bit of resilience themselves if they are to join group winners Armagh, Dublin, Donegal and Kerry in the last eight.

Seán Moran rounds up the weekend’s games, which saw draws cost Mayo – against Dublin – and Galway – against Armagh – direct tickets to the quarter-finals. Donegal and Kerry also topped their groups with highly comfortable victories over Clare and Louth, respectively.

Tyrone earned themselves home advantage in next weekend’s preliminary quarter-finals by seeing off the challenge of Cork in Tullamore, while Derry got back to winning ways against Westmeath in Newry. “You know what they say about empty vessels, they make the most noise,” was Mickey Harte’s response to rumours about his future as Derry manager.


While the championship is now reaching its business end, Denis Walsh believes “the flood of extra games” thus far hasn’t “energised” the GAA public, it has “anaesthetised” them. The solution, he argues, is to bring in a third tier to the championship and make the Sam Maguire “a strictly elite competition”.

In rugby, it was a weekend to forget for Leinster and Munster, both beaten in the semi-finals of the URC. Johnny Watterson reports on Leinster’s defeat by the Bulls in Pretoria, while John O’Sullivan saw Munster lose their crown to Glasgow Warriors at Thomond Park.

Over at Euro 2024, England opened their campaign with a 1-0 win over Serbia, but they left Ken Early less than impressed, while Gavin Cummiskey was in Berlin to see Spain beat Croatia and in Hamburg where a late Wout Weghorst goal gave the Netherlands the points against Poland.

Nathan Johns, meanwhile, was in Florida to witness Ireland’s “underwhelming T20 World Cup campaign” come to an end with a three-wicket defeat by Pakistan, but Ben Healy had a far happier time of it back in Europe where he rode to “a superb solo victory” on the final stage of the Tour of Slovenia.

TV Watch: Today’s Euro 2024 menu: Romania v Ukraine (RTÉ 2 & BBC 1, 2.0), Belgium v Slovakia (RTÉ 2 & UTV, 5.0) and Austria v France (RTÉ 2 & UTV, 8.0). And you catch up on the weekend’s GAA championship (TG4, 8.0) and rugby (RTÉ 2, 10.50) action.

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