PGA Championship: Rory McIlroy speaks out on Masters -News

Rory McIlroy (left) practiced for some time this week with European Ryder Cup captain Luke Donald in Oak Hill, N.Y.
Place: Oak Hill Country Club, New York date: May 18-21
Coverage: Live text commentary for all four rounds on the BBC Sport website from 13:00 on Thursday 18 May. Radio 5 live extra commentary starting Saturday 20 May at 21:00 and Radio 5 live commentary starting Sunday 21 May at 20:40

Rory McIlroy said the cut at the Masters was a “wake-up call” as he prepares for this week’s PGA Championship in Oak Hill.

The Northern Irishman won the title for the second time in 2014 but is yet to add to his fourth Grand Slam victory.

“I was never so sure I was going to have a good week at Augusta National and then it happened,” McIlroy told BBC Sport.

“The night before, I was feeling fine, but this game brings you back to reality very quickly.”

The world number three added: “It was a good lesson for me not to focus too much on feelings or vibes.

“Wednesday afternoon, I shot 5 under par on the back nine [in practice] It’s all in one place, but that’s golf.

“The best way is not to allow yourself that level of expectation. I need to be a little bit more accepting.

“When I look back at Augusta National and the last few months, my acceptance wasn’t as high as it needed to be. If I work on that, I know I’m going to play well again.”

McIlroy has good reason to enter the Masters in such confident fashion, as he won the PGA Tour’s CJ Cup in October to return to the top of the world rankings, followed by a performance at the DP World Tour’s Dubai Desert Classic in January. Winning this year’s.

He then tied for second at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in March and finished third in the WGC Match Play.

Between those two events, however, he missed the cut in the PGA Tour’s flagship Players Championship. He talked about how spending too much time in meetings during that time about the future of LIV Golf and the US Tour period affected his game.

“They say embrace the struggle,” he continued. “I’m not saying I’m struggling, I had a chance to win Bay Hill, I had a chance to win the Match Play, and that was just six weeks ago, so it’s not a long-term thing.

“It gives you purpose to go to the range and work hard. Sometimes success brings complacency, and few wake-up calls along the way can be a good thing.”

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