AUGUSTA, Ga. – Rory McIlroy didn’t collect the career Grand Slam this week at the Masters. He didn’t win his third consecutive major, either.
He did, however, put together two sensational rounds over the weekend at Augusta National to reassure the golf world that this – as both Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson have predicted – is a major McIlroy will win many times over the next 20 years.
McIlroy shot 71-71-68-66 for a 12-under-par total and finished fourth, six shots behind Jordan Spieth.
The biggest reason McIlroy wasn’t closer to Spieth’s lead was a front-nine 40 on Friday that put him too far back at the time. McIlroy still shot 71 that day but it was the fifth consecutive year where McIlroy has shot a nine-hole score of 40.
“I can take a lot of positives from it,” he said. “It is my best ever finish here. I played the last 45 holes in 15 under par. I did a lot of things I wanted to do.”
McIlroy was paired with Tiger Woods for the last round and the two, looking to make a move early to put pressure on the leaders, failed to find any momentum. McIlroy opened with six consecutive pars but made six birdies in his last 12 holes to shoot 66 against Woods’ 73.