Rory McIlroy blames jet lag for his lackluster performance at St. Jude as he takes a week off from golf.

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Rory McIlroy blames jet lag for his lackluster performance at St. Jude as he takes a week off from golf.

Rory McIlroy believes his early problems at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational were due to jet lag.

Rory McIlroy put his early problems at the WGC-FedEx St Jude Invitational in Memphis down to jet lag.

Despite finishing in a tie for 12th place on 10-under-par, it was a week of what could have been for the four-time major champion, as his opening round of two-over-par 72 put him in a position to chase a substantial lead from the start.

Following his disappointing first round, the Northern Irishman went on to record three four-under-par 66s in a row in his remaining three rounds, but the damage from day one had already been done, as he ended six strokes behind the leader.

McIlroy believes he and his fellow Olympians were hampered by jet lag in their opening rounds after flying directly from the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games to Memphis just days before the event at TPC Southwind.

“It feels like it’s been a week of what could’ve been,” he said. According to one statistic, 12 of the 13 men who competed in the Olympics last week lost their three-ball matches on the first day. As a result, jet lag was a distinct possibility. But once I got over that, I was able to play well for the rest of the week.”

In Memphis, Abraham Ancer triumphed after defeating Sam Burns and Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama in a two-hole play-off for his maiden PGA Tour victory.

Following the final round, the trio were equal on 16-under par for the tournament, but it was the Mexican who emerged victorious after his birdie on the second hole of the play-off beat Burns’ and Matsuyama’s pars to become the first Mexican to win a World Golf Championship event.

After shooting 12-under for his final three rounds of the competition, McIlroy found plenty of positives in his game towards the end of the week, and an improved opening round may have had him in and around the leaders come Sunday.

Despite finishing in strong form, the 19-time PGA Tour winner is looking forward to some much-needed downtime following a grueling schedule that included a major, the Olympics, and the World Golf Championship all within three weeks.

“Brinkwire Summary News,” he says.

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