AUGUSTA, Ga. – Rory McIlroy didn’t spare himself Sunday in reviewing his collapse in the final round of the Masters.
“I just unraveled,” McIlroy said.
Four shots ahead starting the final round, McIlroy closed with an 80. He’s one of just four players to take a lead of four or more shots into the final round of the Masters and fail to win, the first since Greg Norman blew a six-shot lead at the ’96 Masters.
McIlroy, 21, acknowledged his triple-bogey 7 at the 10th hole was difficult to overcome.
“Hit a bad tee shot on ten, and then never, never really recovered,” McIlroy said.
McIlroy hooked his tee shot off a tree at the 10th and watched it ricochet wildly in between cabins way left of the fairway.
“I don’t think anyone’s ever been over there in those cabins before,” McIlroy cracked.
McIlroy punched out but once again hooked his third shot in the tree line. He knocked his fourth shot off a tree limb trying to pitch onto the green. He pitched to 20 feet and two putted for his triple bogey.
'Ten just sort of derailed me,” McIlroy said.
Lee Westwood said McIlroy fights a certain bad shot in contention.
'I have played with Rory a lot, when he gets under a bit of pressure, he's got a pull hook in his bag, and he hit it on 10,' Westwood said. 'So that's something he'll learn to cope with with experience, but that's why they go on so much about experience at the Masters. The value of it.'
McIlroy may have some scar tissue to contend with, but he said he learned valuable lessons taking his first lead into the final round of a major.
“This is my first experience at it, and hopefully the next time I'm in this position I'll be able to handle it a little better,” McIlroy said. “I didn't handle it particularly well today, obviously, but it was a character building day, put it that way. I'll come out stronger for it.”