Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 23 October 2014

Rory McIlroy heads to the Masters happy with a remarkable final in Houston

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland watches his tee shot on the thirteenth hole during round three of the Shell Houston Open at the Golf Club of Houston on April 5, 2014 in Humble, Texas.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland watches his tee shot on the thirteenth hole during round three of the Shell Houston Open at the Golf Club of Houston on April 5, 2014 in Humble, Texas. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Rory McIlroy (R) of Northern Ireland tosses the ball to his caddy J.P. Fitzgerald on the eleventh hole during round three of the Shell Houston Open at the Golf Club of Houston on April 5, 2014 in Humble, Texas.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Rory McIlroy (R) of Northern Ireland tosses the ball to his caddy J.P. Fitzgerald on the eleventh hole during round three of the Shell Houston Open at the Golf Club of Houston on April 5, 2014 in Humble, Texas. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Rory McIlroy (R) of Northern Ireland walks with his caddy J.P. Fitzgerald to the twelfth hole during round three of the Shell Houston Open at the Golf Club of Houston on April 5, 2014 in Humble, Texas.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Rory McIlroy (R) of Northern Ireland walks with his caddy J.P. Fitzgerald to the twelfth hole during round three of the Shell Houston Open at the Golf Club of Houston on April 5, 2014 in Humble, Texas. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

Rory McIlroy gave himself something to build on heading into the Masters with a final-round 65 at the Shell Houston Open on Sunday.

Although he started and finished the day well out of contention after a 74 on Saturday, McIlroy could afford a smile after a bogey-free round which matched the low score of the week so far.

"It was a good way to end the week, obviously," McIlroy said on the PGA Tour website.

"I wanted to shoot something in the 60s at least today to give me some positive vibes going into Augusta. I played really well, played really solid from tee-to-green again.

"I holed the putts that I felt I should hole and just kept the ball in play all day. Every time I hit it pretty close, within 10 feet, I holed the putt. It was great to see a few putts like that drop. It's a nice bit of confidence going into next week."

Saturday's 74 had left McIlroy down in 37th place, and although he had done enough to climb back into the top 10 by the time he finished his round he could expect to drop again as the rest of the field followed him home.

That, however, was not his concern as he prepared to travel to Augusta.

"I'm happy with how this week went, even though I didn't quite do what I wanted to do in terms of getting in contention," he said. "But I sort of made up for it today. I couldn't be in a better mood getting on the plane and heading over (to Augusta) tonight."

Overnight leader Matt Kuchar was still top of the leaderboard after picking up one shot over the first 13 holes, but was coming under pressure from Matt Jones who was five under after 14, overhauling Sergio Garcia for second place.

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