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McIlroy Calls Masters Experience 'Frustrating'
It seems as if Rory McIlroy experienced the same emotions as every other player in the 93-player field of the 2013 Masters, except the exhilarated champion, Adam Scott.
The 23-year-old Northern Irishman, ranked No. 2 in the world behind Tiger Woods, carded rounds of 72, 70, 79 and 69 to finish at 2-over 290 in his fifth Masters. The two-time major champion - with victories in the 2011 U.S. Open and last year in the PGA Championship - especially bemoaned the 7-over 79 he carded Saturday, which dropped him from being a serious factor on Sunday.
After carding two bogeys and a birdie to make the turn at 1-over 37 in Round 3, disaster struck on the back nine as he triple-bogeyed the par-4 11th, doubled the par-5 15th, and bogeyed the par-3 16 en route to a 6-over 42 on the back nine.
"It's frustration," McIlroy defined his feelings on Sunday evening. "That's what this golf course is, it's frustrating. It is what it is. I know I've played good enough golf here to win it at times, it's just a matter of stringing it all together in one week."
Here's what else he told reporters after the final round.
Q. A bit more like it today.
RORY MCILROY: Yeah, I if I would have had that yesterday it would have been nice. But the course is playing a little bit differently today. Greens are still firm, but obviously not much wind and yeah, I didn't feel like I played too differently today than I did yesterday, but yet the score is 10 shots lower. It's just the way it is on this golf course. If you get on the wrong sides of the greens and wrong sides of the pins it can make you look silly at times. But obviously I went through a bad stretch of holes there yesterday from 7 to 11, played them in 5 over, but apart from that I actually felt like I had a decent tournament. But it's just about trying to limit those mistakes. I'm learning each and every year around here. And I still got plenty of more years to try and get one of those jackets.
Q. In the end to another Masters what do you take away from this tournament as part of the whole learning experience?
RORY MCILROY: You just got to be so controlled and not take on too much and yesterday I didn't feel like I did that much wrong, today I played a really nice controlled round of golf, shoot 69, and if you do that, every round you're not going to be too far away. It's one of these golf courses where, when it's like this unfortunately like you can shoot 65 in a heart beat, but all of a sudden you go for a few shots and you're staring double and triple bogey in the face.
Q. Obviously leaving now and perhaps a little disappointed, but did that kind of renew your enthusiasm to come back and try and win this famous green jacket?
RORY MCILROY: Yeah, I shot good enough scores around here, I just haven't put them all together in four rounds. So when I'm able to do that, I hope that I'll go close. But, yeah, it's a frustrating golf course at times, but even today I hit some good shots into pins and instead of going 10 feet away I rolled off the green and stuff like that. It's just the way Augusta is and I think you have to embrace it and accept that's what it's going to be like sometimes.
Q. With the new clubs and obviously with the swing glitch he's sorted out this is your first Major with that scenario. Do you think this is a real step forward, notwithstanding the bad 10 holes yesterday?
RORY MCILROY: I guess so, yeah. You take that away and I'm right there. I'm in contention. I played, if I didn't play that bad stretch of holes like that I would be a few under par and I would be right in the mix. But, yeah, I'm on the right track going forward. I'm comfortable with my golf game, the equipment hasn't been an issue all year, it was more just me. So I'm happy where I'm heading and I've got a few really good events coming up I'm looking forward to those.
Q. Did today help you sort out get figured out this challenge at Augusta and what obviously it entails when things go wrong that you have to do things perhaps you don't have to do at other tournaments in the season?
RORY MCILROY: Yeah, a little bit. I definitely hit the ball a little better today for sure. I didn't feel look I played too differently today than I did yesterday, but I said yesterday that the margins here are so small and if you just go on the wrong side it can punish you very harshly. But yeah, as I said, I'm looking forward to the next few weeks and playing well, I'm comfortable with my game and hopefully I can try and get the first win of the season.
Q. Finally, will you take out something like this and examine it and go to next year's Masters and say, okay, now I now know what not to do and I now know what to do?
RORY MCILROY: It's the same thing every year. Don't short side yourself, don't take on too much when you know you can't. That's the game plan that I came in with this week and it just didn't pay off. Something like the 17th hole yesterday you hit the ball up 10 yards on the green all of a sudden it comes back into the water and you think you've played a good shot. It's just the little just the little nuances of this golf course, it's a tough one. But I'm learning each and every year and hopefully I'll come back with a little more experience next year.
Q. Did you ever feel like you quite had the A game here this week?
RORY MCILROY: Yeah, I did. I played well. It was tough conditions the first couple of days and I was in a good position going into the weekend. I didn't quite have it all yesterday and that really cost me. You have to be right on your game for 72 holes here and I played a little bad five-hole stretch in 5 over par which didn't help. That was really it. I played nicely again today and I just limited the mistakes yesterday on that, in that round and I'm right there. So it's just a matter of trying to string four good ones together at this place.
Q. Last couple of times that you've gone away from here having felt probably a little bit down, but picked up a Major each time. Have you already decided which one it's going to be this year?
RORY MCILROY: (Laughter.) I'll take any. No, I played nicely today and I've got a couple weeks off now and I'm looking forward to getting back and playing in Charlotte and TPC. Yeah, I feel like my game's definitely heading in the right direction, I'm hitting all the shots. It's just a matter of committing to them all the time.
Q. What do you think is causing the mistakes? Is it a mental thing?
RORY MCILROY: Yeah, more a mental thing. Just trusting myself, trusting my swing. That's really it.
Q. What's the over riding feeling emotionally this week? Is it frustration?
RORY MCILROY: Yeah, it's frustration. That's what this golf course is, it's frustrating. It is what it is. I know I've played good enough golf here to win it at times, it's just a matter of stringing it all together in one week.
Q. You've been tending in the right direction, what's the one thing unfortunately like you need to clean up to put together those four good rounds?
RORY MCILROY: Just the misses, like easily, usually if I have a miss it's not that bad, it might be in the semi rough or it might just be in the rough. But my misses have been wide and that's the thing that I need to sort out. Instead of missing it just in the like a perfect example is the 11th yesterday. Instead of just missing it in the right rough you miss it 20 yards in the trees and you're, you don't have any shot. And then all of a sudden you chip it out and then you put your third in the water and it's just, it just sort of, it's tough. But, yeah, if I can just sort out those misses so they're not quite as wide and they're still in play, then that's what I need to do. I think that will definitely help me.
RORY MCILROY: No, I was happy with the shot, but I had there's been worse shots than that that have ended up in the hole, so, that was a good shot.
Q. It looked like there was a little low score out there for you, but you just haven't really been able to translate it, have you?
RORY MCILROY: In a way, yeah, I mean I gave myself plenty of chances today. I got off to a good start yesterday, 1 under through six holes and feeling really good with my game and just sort of hit the hand break. But yeah, again, you hit it to 10 feet but it's on the wrong side of the hole, you're just trying to two putt at times. That's just the way this golf course is.
RORY MCILROY: No, it's just frustrating. Sometimes when you hit a good shot and all of a sudden it's off the green and it is what it is and you have to embrace it. It's Augusta and you're going to get some good bounces, you're going to get some bad. It will all even out in the end.
Q. Is the frustration intensify when you're coming in just as Tiger's teeing off and obviously that's the end of the field you want to be in, isn't it.
RORY MCILROY: Yeah, I would rather be teeing off a little later than him again. (Laughter.)
Q. Is the course the reason why like Fred Couples, Cabrera, even Bernhard Langer, are high up there because they played it so often they know?
RORY MCILROY: Exactly, they know where to miss it. Even their bad shots are put in the right positions. So you can give your self an easy up and down. Because they have played it so many times that it's sort of second nature to them and I'm trying to get there.
RORY MCILROY: I don't know. There's no exact science to your schedule. You just go with how you feel. The first year I haven't came up here to play around beforehand and I quite like that because you can sort of over think it. If you're here for three or four days in advance before the start of the week, you know, it's, it almost gets too much. So it was nice to come in here and play the week before and not come and have around, because I mean it doesn't, okay, they changed the 14th green a little bit, but apart from that, it hasn't really changed. And the court is so different from Wednesday night to Thursday morning anyway that it almost isn't worth it.
The transcript for the above interview is courtesy of ASAP Sports.