Rory McIlroy Cards Final-Round 72, Finishes 5-Under Overall at 2019 US Open

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistJune 17, 2019

PEBBLE BEACH, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 16: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland plays a shot from the second tee during the final round of the 2019 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach Golf Links on June 16, 2019 in Pebble Beach, California. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

Rory McIlroy faded out of contention at the 2019 U.S. Open after shooting a one-over 72 in the final round Sunday. 

The 30-year-old was within striking distance down five strokes entering Round 4, but he couldn't keep up with the leaders and finished five strokes under par for the tournament at Pebble Beach, California. 

He finished in a tie for ninth place after starting the round alone in sixth.

McIlroy wasn't able to live up to his lofty expectations entering the week, but he was still able to finish inside the top 10 for the 11th time in 14 events during the 2019 season.

The finish could have been better, but his final round was filled with drama as McIlroy needed to be aggressive to make up ground on the leaderboard.

He earned six birdies, but the round suffered thanks to his three bogeys and two double bogeys.

McIlroy suffered a huge setback on the second hole when he found multiple bunkers and ended up with a double bogey, leaving a slim chance at a comeback with 16 holes remaining. He had two more bogeys on the front nine as he failed to keep up with the rest of the field and take advantage of favorable conditions:

Alan Shipnuck @AlanShipnuck

Of the top 13 on the leaderboard right now only one is over par on Sunday: Rory. Sigh.

To make matters worse, he narrowly missed out on a pair of eagles in the first few holes:

Michael Collins @ESPNCaddie

Rory hits the flagstick at the 4th for eagle but it doesn't drop! McIlroy needed that one after making a double bogey at the 2nd hole. https://t.co/8brvnedCqm

U.S. Open (USGA) @usopengolf

Rory nearly with an ACE on 7! #USOpen https://t.co/HMX5V1ScCl

Although McIlroy was able to birdie each of these holes, plus a birdie on the par-5 No. 6, he still ended up only one over through the first nine holes.

The back nine wasn't too much better despite a few highlights.

Three birdies helped give him some momentum, including this long putt from the fringe on No. 11:

U.S. Open (USGA) @usopengolf

Rory refuses to back down. #USOpen https://t.co/7pKjdevRkC

The problem was the positive play would then be canceled by a bogey and another double bogey on the 16th hole.

It was McIlroy's third double of the tournament, which is the difference between contending for a major championship and finishing far down the leaderboard.

Considering he was only able to reach eight of 18 greens in regulation during the round, there was a lot of room for improvement.

McIlroy will now turn his attention to the Open Championship, which will be played in his home country of Northern Ireland this year. He is expected to compete in the Scottish Open the week before, giving him an opportunity to keep his momentum heading into the final major of the year.