Rory McIlroy almost lost for words at Masters

By Phil Casey, Golf Correspondent, Augusta

A deflated Rory McIlroy was almost at a loss for words after his 10th bid to win the Masters and complete a career grand slam came to a tame end.

McIlroy carded a closing 73 at Augusta National to finish four over par, just as the final groups were heading into the back nine.

“I mean, I don’t really know what to say,” the world number two said.

“Just sort of felt like my game was OK and managed it pretty well, but obviously Friday was a really tough day, and losing five shots sort of put me in a pretty difficult position going into the weekend.

“Then the conditions were pretty tough. The greens are crusty and firm and hard to get the ball super close and hard to make a ton of birdies.

“Once you get seven or eight back going into the weekend here, it’s hard to make up that ground.”

Asked to sum up his emotions, McIlroy added: “I guess it’s more the same of what I’ve shown this year. It’s not as if it’s been a down week in comparison to the way I’ve been playing.

“It’s just a matter of me trying to get my game in a bit better shape going towards the rest of the season.

“I need to take a little bit of time and reflect on this week and what I did well, what I didn’t do so well, and sort of try to make a plan for the next few months, especially from here going through obviously the end of July.

“Major season, they’re going to come thick and fast, so hopefully get myself in a bit better form for those last three.”