Rory McIlroy’s Memorial challenge fades as countryman Tom McKibbin wins on DP World Tour

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Rory McIlroy’s hopes of victory at the Memorial Tournament on Sunday fell by the wayside in an error-strewn final-round 75.

The Northern Irishman had gone into the final day with a share of the lead but ended up in a share of seventh and four strokes off eventual winner Viktor Hovland.

Hovland, McIlroy’s Ryder Cup teammate, needed just one play-off hole to edge out Denny McCarthy, who missed par on both the 18th and final hole, as well as the subsequent play-off hole.

In contrast, Sunday proved more positive for another fellow Holywood golfer in 20-year-old Tom McKibbin, who carded a 70 to win the Porsche European Open.

In the process, the man hailing from the same golf club as McIlroy, became the second-youngest Northern Irishman to win on the DP World Tour after McIlroy.

Despite his own final difficult Sunday, McIlroy said: “I watched every shot this morning. I was really happy for him. For 20 years old, he showed so much composure.

“We’ve all known from back home the potential that he has but I think the breakthrough and the win for the first time at 20, there’s a bright future ahead of him.

“So proud of him, really. I’ve known him since he was 10 years old and to see his progression and see where he is today and get that first win in Europe was really cool to see.”

In his own round, a chip in off the green at the fourth gave McIlroy the outright lead but bogeys on three of the next four holes saw his challenge for victory stall.

A birdie early on the back nine gave a glimmer of hope before back-to-back bogeys on 12 and 13 effectively extinguished his victory challenge.