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McIlroy breaks silence after US Open agony, says he will take break from golf after 'toughest' day

Rory McIlroy said on Monday he plans to take a break from golf after describing his epic US Open collapse as probably the "toughest" day of his professional career.

In his first public comments since his meltdown at Pinehurst on Sunday that allowed Bryson DeChambeau to claim a one-shot victory, McIlroy said his next event will be the July 11-14 Scottish Open, the warm-up for the British Open.

"Yesterday was a tough day, probably the toughest I've had in my nearly 17 years as professional golfer," said McIlroy, who has withdrawn from this week's Travelers Championship in Connecticut.

McIlroy, who left Pinehurst swiftly on Sunday without speaking to media, squandered a two-shot lead with five holes to play, making bogeys on three of the last four holes to surrender a winning position to DeChambeau.

Two of McIlroy's bogeys came from missed putts of less than four feet.

It was the latest agonising near-miss for McIlroy in his attempts to end a decade-long pursuit of a fifth major. McIlroy now has 21 top-10 finishes, including four runner-ups, since his last major in 2014.

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The 35-year-old from Northern Ireland insisted however that he believed the positives outweighed the negatives from his US Open disaster.

"As I reflect on my week, I'll rue a few things over the course of the tournament, mostly the two missed putts on 16 and 18 on the final day," McIlroy said. "But as I always try to do, I'll look at the positives of the week that far outweigh the negatives.

"As I said at the start of the tournament, I feel close to winning my next major championship, than I ever have.

"The one word that I would describe my career as is