Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

McIlroy: It's Been a Great 12 Months; Rory Reflects on Big 2011

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

McIlroy: It's Been a Great 12 Months; Rory Reflects on Big 2011

Article excerpt

AN awful lot has happened to Rory McIlroy since his Masters meltdown in April, writes MARK GARROD.

But all the memories of that traumatic final day are sure to come flooding back when the 22-year-old makes his return to Augusta National in the spring.

Even if McIlroy wanted to banish all the grisly details from his mind, there is no way he is going to be allowed to forget them.

And what a story it will be if he can conquer the course which inflicted such pain on him in full view of the golfing world.

Not that McIlroy has carried the agony of that closing round of 80 for the rest of 2011. By winning the US Open in June - and doing it in such incredible fashion - the Northern Irishman showed what he is made of.

From looking like a little boy lost, he was transformed into the most exciting talent to arrive in the sport for a generation.

To go down as an all-time great, though, McIlroy will need to change again - from a major champion into a multiple major champion.

He has no doubt that the Masters experience will help him do that.

"I learned a lot from it," he said. "You definitely have to analyse the parts that you want to do better, but I really stopped thinking about it a week after.

"You try and pick things out that you could have done better, but after you do that and you're happy with everything that you've taken from it then you've just got to move on."

The fact was, though, that from four ahead with a round to go he shot the worst score of the entire field and finished 10 behind South African Charl Schwartzel, whose 66 was the day's best score.

There were early signs that all was not well, but it was on the 10th hole - "Camellia" - that it started to become a horror show.

A hooked drive that finished in between two of the cabins led to a triplebogey seven and such was the shock he three-putted the next and four-putted the 12th. …

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