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McIlroy admits Augusta frustration

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Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy is confident he would know what to do if he finds himself four ahead with a round to go at the US Open next month.

That was the situation the 22-year-old found himself in at The Masters six weeks ago and sports fans all around the world saw him suffer the nightmare of an 80.

"I went out just trying to keep the lead instead of being, 'Right, I'm going to go out, shoot 65, beat everyone by eight and just show everybody how good I am'," McIlroy said.

"That's really what you should be going out and looking at."

Now in Spain for the Volvo World Match Play Championship - he began with a group game against Retief Goosen - the Northern Irishman has not been short of words of comfort since his Augusta meltdown.

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson - the world number six is a fan of the Premier League champions - sent a long text advising him to talk to the people closest to him rather than listening or reading the opinions of outsiders.

"Similar to Beckham when he was being hounded by the British media after getting sent off at the World Cup," said McIlroy. "Fergie told him to come back to Manchester and to the people who loved him."

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McIlroy knows he was not the first to collapse in the way he did, and he is not even the last any more. On Sunday his Ryder Cup partner and close friend Graeme McDowell was three clear with one hole to go in the third round of the Players Championship and still tied for the lead with 13 holes to play.

But he ended up with a 79 which, like McIlroy's 80, was the worst round of anybody playing that day.

"I sent him a text saying, 'It happens to the best of us'," said McIlroy with a smile. "It can happen to anyone. He's a major champion, but it's tough to finish off tournaments no matter who are you - Tiger made it look so easy for 15 years or whatever."


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