Tuesday 14 August 2018

'I wish I had put a bit more pressure on Patrick Reed' - Rory McIlroy confident of adding to major haul in 2018

Players from left, Shane Lowry of Ireland, Padraig Harrington of Ireland, Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland and Paul McGinley of Ireland following the JP McManus Pro-Am Launch at Adare Manor in Adare, Co. Limerick. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
Players from left, Shane Lowry of Ireland, Padraig Harrington of Ireland, Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland and Paul McGinley of Ireland following the JP McManus Pro-Am Launch at Adare Manor in Adare, Co. Limerick. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

Phil Casey

Rory McIlroy is confident he can add to his tally of four major titles this season, despite the disappointing end to his bid for Masters glory.

McIlroy began the final round three shots off the lead and closed to within a shot of eventual winner Patrick Reed after two holes, but faded badly with a closing 74 at Augusta National.

And although it was not the collapse of 2011, when he enjoyed a four-shot lead after 54 holes before crashing to a closing 80, the Northern Irishman has now failed to convert his first four chances to join Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods in winning all four majors.

"I view the Masters as a very positive week," McIlroy said in a Q&A, broadcast by the BBC, at the launch of the revamped Adare Manor in Limerick. "I put myself in position to win another major, it didn't quite happen for me but the long list of positives far outweigh the negatives.

"I wish I had put a bit more pressure on Patrick Reed early on in the fourth round, I wasn't able to do it and that was really it.

"I've got three more chances this year (to win a major), my game's obviously in great shape. I've won this year, I've given myself a chance at the first major, there's no reason I can't go to the other three and give myself three more chances and if I do that I feel like I'll hopefully add to that tally."

McIlroy escaped with a par after a wild drive on the first hole of the final round at Augusta and birdied the second after missing from four feet for an eagle, but was left to rue dropped shots on the third and fifth which killed any momentum.

"I've been in final groups in majors before and I've played well," the 28-year-old added. "I think the mental energy it took for me to do what I did on the Saturday (shooting 65), to back that up again was going to be very difficult.

"I was three shots behind, I needed to make a fast start; I felt I maybe put myself under a bit too much pressure to make that fast start and put him under pressure.

"It definitely wasn't as big a learning day as 2011 because it was my first time in that situation and I didn't handle it very well. But Sunday at Augusta this year I just didn't quite have it."

Adare Manor, which is owned by JP McManus, is set to bid to host the 2026 Ryder Cup.

"We'll put our name in the hat," McManus was quoted as saying by the BBC. "I think we have the facilities to host it and we'd love to have it."

Online Editors

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport