I wept after Masters meltdown, says McIlroy

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland walks off the 18th green after finishing final round play in the...

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland walks off the 18th green after finishing final round play in the 2011 Masters golf tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia, in this April 10, 2011 file photo. (REUTERS/Shaun Best/Files)

Bernie McGuire, Reuters

, Last Updated: 5:51 PM ET

Rory McIlroy said he wept after letting victory slip from his grasp at the U.S. Masters in April and the world number two is hoping the only golf-related crying he does in the future will be tears of joy.

In a frank review of his season, the 22-year-old Briton acknowledged he “choked” by carding a closing 80 at Augusta after going into the last round holding a four-stroke lead.

“I felt like crying because even after my triple-bogey on the 10th hole I thought I still had chances on 13, 15 and 16,” McIlroy told reporters.

“But what happened on 13 was the one that took all that away,” he said referring to the watery grave he found at the par-five hole.

“I didn’t actually cry, not until the next morning. I didn’t even speak to mum and dad until then.

”They might have said something like, ’It’ll be okay’, but I said ’No, it won’t be okay’,“ McIlroy added.

”At the time I felt it might be the only chance I had to win a major and I’d blown it. I had so many thoughts and emotions going through my head that day.“

McIlroy finished a distant 10 strokes behind the winner, South African Charl Schwartzel.

Asked if he would ever weep on the course, McIlroy replied: ”Hopefully they will be tears of joy as golf is not worth crying over - it’s only a game“.

McIlroy bravely buried his Masters demons by romping to an eight-shot victory at the U.S. Open in Maryland in June to clinch the first major title of his career.

”I felt something to prove going into the U.S. Open, extra motivation, maybe even a little redemption to make amends for what happened at Augusta,“ said the Northern Irishman.

”I wanted to prove a lot of people wrong and to prove something to myself, that I wasn’t one of those players who crumbles under the pressure, who folds or chokes.

“I hate using the word choke but that’s exactly what happened at the Masters.”

McIlroy said he sought the help of American coach Dave Stockton after his Augusta meltdown.

“I went to the U.S. Open needing to improve my putting so that’s why I went to see Stockton,” the youngster explained.

“He was a big help and I knew if I putted well the first three days I would be out of sight.

”I gave it my best again in terms of preparation and felt the Congressional course set up well for me.

“It was just great to have a chance to win again, to test myself after what happened at Augusta, and what happened at Augusta won’t happen again,” said McIlroy.


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