McIlroy restores Open pride with final flourish

Troon (United Kingdom) (AFP) - Rory McIlroy signed off a sometimes frustrating week at Troon with a flourish on Sunday by shooting 67 in the final round of the British Open.

The Northern Irishman's four-under-par round featured six birdies and two bogeys at the difficult 11th and 12th holes and he finishes at four-under for the championship.

The 2014 Open champion had four birdies and no dropped shots on the front nine but the inward nine has caused trouble to almost everyone this week and McIlroy was unable to go under-par coming home.

Nevertheless his was on course to be the lowest score of the day which would set him up for a second top-10 finish at a major this year after the Masters at Augusta in April.

"It was a tough week," admitted McIlroy, who never recovered from having to play in the most miserable weather conditions of the week during his second round.

"I think Friday for our side of the draw especially and then Saturday was a tough day.

"I didn't take advantage of the easier start on the front nine and when I reflect on this week that meant I couldn't get anywhere near the leaders."

Despite that McIlroy showed up the best of the 'Big Four', ahead of Dustin Johnson (-2), world number one Jason Day (+1) and Jordan Spieth, who ended on two-over despite a final round of 68.

"I felt I played ok. In the conditions I've faced this week I felt like I handled them pretty well.

"I leave with my head held high and go on to Baltusrol."

The final major the year, the US PGA Championship, will be held at Baltusrol in New Jersey beginning on July 28, an earlier start than usual because of the Rio Olympics.

"I'm playing well. I'm driving the ball great. I think that's a big thing, especially with the PGA coming up," McIlroy added.

"The PGAs are usually if you can drive the ball well, you'll do well, and I've had success in that tournament before, so I'm really happy with that. I'll go there feeling pretty good about myself."

Two of McIlroy's four major wins have come at the PGA, in 2012 at Kiawah Island and at Valhalla in 2014.