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Rory McIlroy Has Tiger Woods Syndrome? 'Trying Too Hard' Leads to Another Nine-Hole 40 Score [VIDEO]

Greg Archuleta
By Greg Archuleta @GeigaSr
on Jun 15, 2014 01:39 AM EDT
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Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods
Rory McIlroy, left, shown with Tiger Woods at the 2013 U.S. Open, has had a nine-hole score of 40 or worse in each of his last four PGA Tour events, including Saturday's U.S. Open third round. McIlroy says he's trying too hard, which analysts have accused Tiger Woods of doing in every major event he has entered in recent years as he chances Jack Nicklaus' majors record of 18 wins. (Photo : Getty Images)

Rory McIlroy seems to be emulating Tiger Woods, and not in a good way.

Is Rory McIlroy better than Phil Mickelson at blocking out off-course distractions?

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McIlroy shot himself out of contention at the U.S. Open on Saturday, his 4-over 74 leaving him tied for 16th at 3 over for the championship and 11 strokes behind leader Martin Kaymer heading into today's final round.

More specifically, McIlroy's front nine eliminated him. According to the golfchannel.com, McIlroy bogeyed Nos. 2, 4, 5, 6 and 9 for a 5-over 40. It's part of a disturbing trend that has taken over McIlroy's game of late.

Golfchannel.com reported that McIlroy now has posted a nine-hole score of 40 or worse in four straight PGA Tour events, each one costing him a chance for a victory.

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Before the U.S. Open, McIlroy's 7-over 43 on the back nine of his second round at the Memorial relegated him to a 15th-place tie at 6 under. He had a 6-over 42 on the front nine of the second round in The Players Championship in May, and wound up tied for sixth overall at 9-under.

At the Wells Fargo Championship at the beginning of May, he shot a 4-over 40 on the front nine of the second round and finished the tournament tied for eighth at 8 under.

"It might be a little bit to do with once I get on a run and maybe trying a little too hard to get out of it and that compounds the issue," he said, according to golfchannel.com. "I need to figure out these nine holes of golf where instead of it being 4 over or 5 over, maybe 1 or 2 over, just limiting the damage a little bit."

Trying to hard has been the calling card of Tiger Woods in recent years in his struggle to catch Jack Nicklaus for the all-time record for major victories with 18.

Woods has been saddled at 14 for six years. He returned to the No. 1 ranking in golf in 2013 and had five wins, but none at a major.

McIlroy, at age 25 and 13 years younger than Woods, figures to have a better chance of figuring out how to solve his problem and reclaim the No. 1 ranking he held before Woods took it away.

Who do you think has a better chance of reclaiming the No. 1 golf ranking - Tiger Woods or Rory McIlroy? Comment below or tell us @SportsWN.

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