The proverb of “whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” is comparable with the attitude Rory McIlroy will be taking to Augusta this week as he seeks to learn from the mistakes of 2011.
Having entered the final day’s play holding a four shot lead over the impressive field, McIlroy’s game began to unwind eventually finishing with a round of 80 which was only good enough for 15th place. Taking the positives out of his capitulations McIlroy said “The whole of Sunday felt different to the first three rounds. I was trying to be this type of person I wasn’t, sort of ultra-focused with tunnel vision. For 63 holes, I led the tournament. It was just those last nine holes that everyone concentrated on.”
Much has changed for McIlroy in 12 months, a US Open crown sits upon his shoulders, he has held the position of the world’s number 1 golfer and alterations in his management and personal life has put McIlroy in a positive state of mind as he sets about his challenge for a Green Jacket in 2012. “But I learned a lot about myself. I learned how to control my emotions better. I learned what works for me best whenever I get into situations like that. And I was able to put that right a couple of months later when I won the US Open.”
McIlroy now enters the Masters as second favourite just behind a resurgent Tiger Woods who, following a recent win at Bay Hill, is claiming to be back to his best. Whatever the result on Sunday, it can be safe to presume that McIlroy will add yet further experience to his 22 year old golfing armoury as he seeks to add yet further to his major haul.