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McIlroy out to develop an iron resolve after Masters failure


ROOM TO IMPROVE: Rory McIlroy knows the areas of his game he has to work on

ROOM TO IMPROVE: Rory McIlroy knows the areas of his game he has to work on

ROOM TO IMPROVE: Rory McIlroy knows the areas of his game he has to work on

Rory McIlroy would love to be a "man of leisure" for the next few months but admits he will also need to work on his game after another case of what might have been in the Masters.

McIlroy's sixth bid to win at Augusta National and complete the career grand slam ended with a fifth top-10 finish, although his chances of victory were effectively ended by an opening 75.

That left the 31-year-old 10 shots behind playing partner and eventual champion Dustin Johnson and although he responded with rounds of 66, 67 and 69, McIlroy still finished a distant nine shots off Johnson's record pace.

Since the start of 2015, McIlroy is 28 over par in the first round of majors and a combined 64 under par in rounds two, three and four, while he led the field in strokes gained off the tee through 54 holes of the Masters but was last in strokes gained approaching the green.

Asked what area of his game he would improve overnight if he could, McIlroy unsurprisingly said: "My iron play.

"My iron play hasn't been great since coming back from the lockdown. It sort of goes right through the bag. It goes from wedges all the way through to the long irons.

"I had two five irons from the fairway on 10 and 11 today (Sunday), for example, and just didn't hit great shots.

"I'm just going to be a man of leisure for a couple of months. It's going to be nice. Lie by the pool a little bit, get back on the bike, get back on the Peloton. I've sort of given that a bit of a miss over the last few months.

"Obviously watch my daughter grow up a little bit and have fun with that. I'll try to get away from it, but there's certainly some stuff in my golf game that I want to work on before next year."

McIlroy only has five months to wait to get another crack at the Masters and hopes firmer conditions will prevail in the traditional April slot.

"I hope the course is much different in April than it is now," he added. "It's very soft.

"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 it just wouldn't do what you expect it to do, so I'd love to get another shot at it in April and have the course play maybe more what we're accustomed to."

The Solheim Cup, meanwhile, will move to even years from 2024 to avoid being held in the same year as the Ryder Cup.

The 2021 and 2023 competitions will be held in their previously announced dates and locations in Ohio and Spain respectively.

The Ryder Cup moved to an odd-year schedule after the 2020 contest was postponed due to Covid-19.