Title: Rory McIlroy's season ends early

Description: LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- The last time he was in Chicago, Rory McIlroy quite famously received some speedy assistance from a police officer to make his Ryder Cup tee time at Medinah. No doubt he wanted to race out of town sometime over this weekend. [+] EnlargeMcIlroy Stan Badz/Getty Images Rory McIlroy is expected to take a month off now that his 2013 PGA Tour season is over before returning to the course for some European Tour events later in the year. McIlroy was hopelessly out of the BMW Championship on Friday after opening the tournament with rounds of 78-77. And that meant he wasn't going to qualify for the season-ending Tour Championship, a rather preposterous notion at the start of the year. A year ago, McIlroy won the BMW Championship in Indianapolis, captured two of the four FedEx Cup playoff events and finished second in the points standings to Brandt Snedeker. Even to McIlroy, his struggles remain a mystery. "I'm working harder," said McIlroy, who shot rounds of 68-68 over the weekend for too little, too late. "Everything sort of came easy last year, and I'm sort of working harder, hitting more balls, spending more time on the range because I'm searching for it, and that's what is frustrating. But the fact that I'm working hard and I'm not really getting much out of it, if I can I keep patient and keep working hard, I'm sure it'll turn around." As for the rest of field at Conway Farms Golf Club, 22 players never even started their final round Sunday due to heavy rains. Round 4 will restart at 9 a.m. ET on Monday. McIlroy likely needed a top-seven finish and perhaps could have gotten away with a top-10 at the BMW to advance. He began the week in 41st position but was projected to finish 51st when he completed his fourth round Sunday. Only the top 30 will head to Atlanta. Who could have dreamed of such a scenario, especially when the new year dawned with so much hype and fanfare for the then-No. 1-ranked golfer in the world? Certainly not McIlroy, who stayed the weekend in Chicago only because there was no 36-hole cut. "If someone had asked me at the start of the year, would you be more surprised at not winning a major or not getting to the Tour Championship, of course I would have said the latter," McIlroy said. "The majors are based on one week, four times a year when a lot of things have to go your way. "But over the course of the season, I feel like I should be able to play well enough to get to East Lake. I didn't expect to be in this position." Who did? It remains among the stories of the year in golf, McIlroy's fall from the heights of such glory.

Link: http://espn.go.com/golf/story/_/id/9677411/rory-mcilroy-season-ends-early-bmw-championship-golf