The wait for that elusive career grand slam continues, but Rory McIlroy remained positive after recovering from a poor start to finish in a tie for fifth place at Augusta National.
The Irishman left himself with a mountain to climb after a disastrous opening round 75 left him well off the pace.
He battled gamely, posting a 66, 67 and 69 in his final three rounds, to finish on -11 and tied for fifth place some none shots behind winner Dustin Johnson.
“Guess I need to take the positives,” McIlroy said afterwards.
“Played the last 54 really well and only made two bogeys in that 54-hole stretch, which is probably the best run of golf I’ve played here.”
But the damage was done in the storm-hit first round with the 31-year-old forced to return on Friday morning to complete his opening 18 holes.
“I got a little careful, a little tentative, a little guidey, just didn’t trust my swing, didn’t commit to what I was doing,” he said.
“This course more than any other can make you do that at times. That was really what it was.
“That second morning I just didn’t quite have it.”
Although the wait to complete the elusive career grand slam goes on, McIlroy admitted that he was more relaxed on the course this year compared to previous years.
“I loved the feeling of being relaxed out there and it’s something I probably need to try to adopt going into five months’ time,” he added.
“I feel like there’s a lot of shots I hit this week where I hit my number and it would spin back off a green or just wouldn’t do what you expect, so I’d love to get another shot at it in April and have the course play more what we’re accustomed to.”
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