Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 24 July 2014

McIlroy aims to learn lessons

Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy will become "the boy in the bubble" if he finds himself in contention for major titles in the future.

McIlroy looked set to win the Masters on Sunday when he took a four-shot lead into the final round at Augusta, only to slump to a closing 80. And the 21-year-old from Northern Ireland feels he has learnt some valuable lessons on how to cope if a similar situation arises.

"It's easy to say he's got a four-shot lead and if he keeps doing what he is doing he'll win, but it is a lot easier said than done." McIlroy said: "My advice would be almost put yourself in a bubble and don't let outside factors influence anything, whether that be newspaper articles, TV or anything."

He added: "It is very hard to keep yourself in the present and not think about winning or putting on that green jacket or walking up the last with a two or three-shot lead,

"You need to keep that out of your mind. I did that for the most part. If I was giving advice I'd say don't read newspapers, don't look at the TV or anything like that."

McIlroy had a long time to reflect on what went wrong at Augusta, joining Masters champion and stablemate Charl Schwartzel on a long journey from Georgia to Kuala Lumpur for this week's Maybank Malaysian Open.

"It was a long journey here from Augusta. It probably took us about 30 hours but I'm feeling okay," McIlroy told a pre-tournament press conference on Wednesday.

"I'm trying to get back in the saddle and put everything that happened last week behind me and I'm looking forward to getting going. When you travel like that you have a lot of time to reflect. I'm really just looking at the positives.

"I led that golf tournament for 63 holes. That's all I can look at. Everyone is going to have bad days. Mine just happened probably on the most important day of my golfing career.

"I'm a very positive person and I know I'll get over it. I'll learn from it. When I get myself back in that position if I have really learned from it, it won't happen again."