McIlroy confident of better showing at Masters

Tue Apr 8, 2014 4:45pm EDT
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By Julian Linden

AUGUSTA, Georgia (Reuters) - Rory McIlroy is living proof that time has a way of healing almost everything.

Three years ago, McIlroy was reduced to tears when he blew his chance of winning the Masters after a spectacular final-round collapse.

Leading by four shots at the start of the last day, McIlroy closed with an 80 that included a triple-bogey on the 10th hole that sent him tumbling out of contention.

The following day he burst into tears when he spoke to his mother on the telephone.

"That's probably the only time I've cried over golf," he recounted at a news conference on Tuesday. "Blowing a lead in the final round of the Masters, because you never know if you're going to get that opportunity again.

"It makes it easier these days when you have two majors in the bag. Not that you don't care as much, but it's not the end of the world. You know that you will have more opportunities, and you've taken a couple of opportunities already."

It was a humbling experience for the Northern Irishman that shattered his confidence and raised doubts about his ability to handle the suffocating pressure of Augusta National.

In five appearances at the Masters, McIlroy has yet to finish in the top 10 but the 24-year-old is starting to regain his faith, believing that his meltdown three years ago could ultimately help him win that elusive green jacket.   Continued...

Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy hits from the sand onto the second green during a practice round ahead of the Masters golf tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia April 8, 2014. REUTERS/Mike Segar