Rory McIlroy is refusing to press any panic buttons after the worst Open Championship finish of his young career.
A week that he hoped would bring him his second major title and take him back to world number one ended with him down on eight over par and outside the top 50 after a closing 73. The 23-year-old had been in joint fifth spot when he opened with a 67, but he then had a 41-hole stretch containing only one birdie.
"I think the thing for me is to stay patient," said the Northern Irishman, whose previous lowest finish in the event was 47th.
"If it doesn't happen over the next couple of weeks no big deal. It's a 20-year career, so I'm not going to get too wound up just over a few weeks."
McIlroy, who arrived at Lytham on the back of four missed cuts in his previous six starts, is next in action at the Bridgestone World Championship in Akron on Thursday week and then moves on to Kiawah Island in South Carolina for the USPGA Championship.
"I've got to keep working away, plugging away, working on the right things and eventually it will come around," he said.
Asked about the Ryder Cup in September, he added: "The thing about the Ryder Cup, I'm going to be left out if I'm not playing too good."
He knows that is not going to happen. He leads the points race with only five weeks to go.
"No, it's fine," McIlroy said. "Everyone goes through little struggles. What I'm experiencing at the minute is frustrating at times, but it's not anything that I can't deal with.
"I'm obviously very disappointed because I felt like I was coming in here playing pretty well. I had a really nice first round, set myself up well for the week and then just started to struggle after that."