March 4, 2015 / 8:50 PM / 4 years ago

Upbeat McIlroy aims for Doral bounceback after missed cut

(Reuters) - A rare missed cut for Rory McIlroy at last week’s Honda Classic was the result of a rusty game and windy conditions, said the world number one, who was in an upbeat mood for this week’s WGC-Cadillac Championship in Miami.

Rory McIlroy tees off on the 16th during the the second round of the Honda Classic at PGA National GC Champion Course. Feb 27, 2015; Palm Beach Gardens, FL, USA; Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

In three starts this year, McIlroy has also recorded a win at the European Tour’s Dubai Desert Classic and a runner-up spot at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship and will be the top drawcard at the season’s opening major, the Masters next month.

“After coming off a three-week break, you never quite know how your game’s going to be,” the Northern Irishman told reporters at Trump National Doral on Wednesday about his missed cut at the Honda, his first since the Irish Open last June.

“It wasn’t a bad week to see where I was. I identified a few things I needed to work on over the weekend and I feel like I have addressed those. It was mostly just to do with playing in the wind.

“At least I know going into this week where my game is. Even if things maybe don’t go my way at some point during the round, I’ll know how to manage it a little bit better.”

McIlroy, whose scores of 73 and 74 at the Honda Classic left him well outside the cut-line, has already attracted plenty of hype ahead of the Apr. 9-12 Masters where he will bid to complete a career grand slam of the four majors.

“It’s obviously a great position to be in, going into Augusta and having it being the only major that I haven’t won,” said the 25-year-old, who has already claimed a U.S. Open, a British Open and two PGA Championships.

“There is always excitement, anticipation and hype that surrounds Augusta every year. I would feel it regardless if I am going in as the favourite or under the radar.

“My name is getting thrown around a little bit more than it used to but I’m okay with that.”

Asked whether he felt a false sense of urgency as he prepares for the Masters and a third successive major victory, McIlroy replied: “There is a bit of that.

“Touch wood, it’s not going to be the only Masters that I will play in for the rest of my career. Hopefully I will have many more opportunities to try and win it.”

Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Frank Pingue

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