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Rory McIlroy struggles after opening eagle, shoots 4th-round 75

LOS ANGELES -- When Rory McIlroy opened with an eagle to grab a share of the lead during Sunday's final round of the Northern Trust Open, it felt like he was going to make a serious run at a 12th career PGA Tour title.

Seventeen holes later, he was trudging off Riviera Country Club's final hole after a sloppy 4-over 75 and share of 20th place.

"There are encouraging signs," McIlroy said. "But I turned a chance to win into a top-20 at the end of the day, so it wasn't too good."

McIlroy bookended that opening eagle with a birdie on the last hole, but in between he failed to post any other red numbers, instead carding seven bogeys -- tied for the most he's ever had in a non-major round.

When asked which part of his game he was most disappointed with, McIlroy pointed to his putter.

"I didn't have the pace on the greens at all today," he explained. "Couple of three-putts on the front nine. Put myself in a couple of awkward positions when I did miss it. The course played a little more difficult today with the wind. It was a little firmer. I dropped a few shots and trying to chase on this golf course, which just isn't good."

The former world No. 1 had an opportunity to jump from third in the current rankings to second with a strong finish. Instead, he'll remain in the same position entering this week's Honda Classic, near his adopted home in South Florida.

"I'll have a nice day off [Monday], regroup and hopefully put myself in contention next week," he said. "My pace putting today was a little off. So I guess work on that, try and get the speed on the greens down a little more. But tee to green, I felt pretty good. It's just one of those days. I couldn't really get anything going after the good start."