McIlroy says he’s so near, yet so far, from major winning form



AUGUSTA:

Rory McIlroy will have to wait another year for the chance to complete his career grand slam after a disappointing week at the Masters ended with a final round two-over 73 on Sunday.

World number two McIlroy heads out of Augusta National having finished on four over-par for the tournament, his second round 77 having effectively killed any chance of a bid to win the one major that has eluded him.

“I just sort of felt like my game was OK and managed it pretty well, but obviously Friday was a really tough day, and losing five shots sort of put me in a pretty difficult position going into the weekend,” he said.

“Then the conditions were pretty tough. The greens are crusty and firm and hard to get the ball super close and hard to make a ton of birdies. Once you get seven or eight back going into the weekend here, it’s hard to make up that ground,” he added.

But McIlroy said that his Masters performance had not been a radical departure from his form so far this season.

“I guess it’s more the same of what I’ve shown this year. It’s not as if it’s been a down week in comparison to the way I’ve been playing. It’s just a matter of me trying to get my game in a bit better shape going towards the rest of the season,” he said.

The Northern Irishman believes he isn’t a huge distance away from the kind of golf that can start bringing him successes to add to his four major titles — that last of which came 10 years ago.

“All these disappointing weeks are 20ths, 25ths. They’re not terrible weeks by any stretch, but there’s a lot of room for improvement,” he said.

“I’m close in some ways, but then I feel quite far away in others. Once I get one thing, sort of put that to bed, then another thing pops up, and it’s just one of those at the minute.

“Just (missing) a little bit of control, I think, with the ball-striking, especially in those sorts of winds. It really exposes any weaknesses that you may have. That Friday definitely exposed a few things.”

“It’s probably not the right time to be analytical at the moment, but I think as well if you’re really going to make wholesale changes it’s hard to play a lot of golf and make them at the same time.

“I don’t feel like I need to make wholesale changes. That’s why I’m playing a lot. But if the time comes that I need to make wholesale changes with my golf swing and really try to reassess, it could be a six-month to a year process,” he said.

“Not saying I wouldn’t play any tournaments in that time, but the focus would be on the sort of technical side of things and really not result driven at all. I don’t think I’m there yet, but there may come a time where I need to address that and really go back to the drawing board,” he added.

“But I think right now it’s little tweaks here and there and managing my game. I really feel like I can sort of play my way into form here over these next few weeks,” he said.



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