One week to the day since McIlroy suffered a triple bogey on the 10th hole that all but ruined his chances of winning his first major championship, the Ulsterman suffered a similar fate at the Malaysian Open on the back nine.
Needing a par on the 12th hole to remain in contention, McIlroy three-putted from about 25 feet to fall three back of the leaders. It was the kind of momentum killer that, truthfully, you expected to ruin his round.
But Rory seemed a little more resilient this time around, as he birdied three of the final six holes to get within one of Matteo Manassero going to the par-5 finishing hole. But once again, McIlroy couldn't keep it in play, blowing his driver into the bunker before pulling his 8-iron and three-putting for bogey to lose by two shots.
You don't want to say the 21-year-old is snakebit, but he's managed to lose in cringe-worthy fashion over the last two weeks; you have to wonder what his psyche is like at the moment. He seemed in good spirits after the round, but the fact remains -- he's blown two great chances in a row.
The biggest problem seems to be a shaky putter that appears out of nowhere on Sunday afternoon. He's missing short putts left and right, and that's something you just can't do when you're in the middle of a back nine battle. Maybe it's the nerves, but it's hard to not look at his glaring putter issues and wonder if this will be a continual problem.
Judging by the way he's putted in wins at Quail Hollow and Dubai, you have to think this is something that will pass with time and maturity. The good news is he keeps getting himself in position to win, but until he finds a way to close things out, the whispers and the questions about his struggles will continue.
- Rory McIlroy