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Rory McIlroy feels pain of ‘toughest’ day in his career

The US Open inquest continues; Michael Murphy is impressed by Dublin; Owen Doyle is unimpressed by a refereeing performance

Rory McIlroy walks off a green with caddie Harry Diamond during the final round the US Open on Sunday. Photograph: Andrew Redington/Getty Images

By Rory McIlroy’s own admission, after that nightmarish conclusion to his final round at the US Open, Sunday was “probably the toughest I’ve had in my 17 years as a professional golfer”. Once again, writes Philip Reid, he “had come up short in a major championship; 10 years of hurt and angst with no redemption to heal old wounds and the scar tissue spreading wider and deeper”. But, Malachy Clerkin believes, “there’s nobody to blame but himself”. “He choked, plain and simple,” he writes, “this can only have been due to a mental meltdown”. David Gorman reckons events back in January foreshadowed McIlroy’s Pinehurst woes when he missed a couple of tiny putts at the Dubai Invitational. If he never manages to win another Major, Sunday evening “may be the bitter memory he can never forget”.

Over at Euro 2024, Slovakia produced the tournament’s first big shock with their 1-0 win over Belgium, but Ken Early saw France do what France usually do: enough, and no more. With the help of an own goal, they beat Austria 1-0, although they could have done without Kylian Mbappé sustaining a broken nose late on.

In Gaelic games, Michael Murphy looks back at the weekend’s football action, Mayo giving it “a good rattle” against Dublin, but once again the champions “had the answers”. The Dubs will, writes Malachy, “take a huge amount from Sunday, sharpened no doubt by their first major test of the championship”, the chief challenge for Dessie Farrell now getting the balance right with his forward personnel.

Seán Moran, meanwhile, heard GAA president Jarlath Burns acknowledge that the proposal to switch next weekend’s Tailteann Cup semi-finals from the Sunday to Saturday, so that the All-Ireland hurling quarter-finals could be played on the Sunday, had put Central Council “in a terrible position”. The matter is resolved, though, there’ll be no switch.


In rugby, Owen Doyle’s observation that “you can be at 1,350m above sea level and still be out of your depth” hints at his assessment of referee Sam Grove-White’s performance in Leinster’s URC semi-final defeat by the Bulls: poor. But did it cost Leinster a place in the final? “No ... the Bulls’ victory was totally merited.”

Just a week after the RTÉ Investigates programme on the horrific cruelty meted out to horses at Shannonside Foods Ltd in Straffan, “those outrageous images striking to the heart of racing’s ethical dilemmas in duty of care for the animals it breeds” writes Brian O’Connor, we have another low. A video is circulating on social media of a dead horse owned by trainer John ‘Shark’ Hanlon being towed in a trailer through a village in Kilkenny. There’s no end to it.

TV Watch: We have to settle for just the two Euro 2024 games today, Georgia making their debut in the tournament when they take on Turkey at 5.0 (RTÉ 2 & BBC 1) and Portugal meeting the Czech Republic this evening (RTÉ 2 & BBC 1, 8.0).

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