MCILROY UPBEAT AHEAD OF THIS WEEK’S US MASTERS

Rory McIlroy finished second in Sunday's Valero Texas Open

Rory McIlroy finished second in Sunday’s Valero Texas Open

RORY McIlroy says he is in good shape ahead of the US Master after finishing runner-up on Sunday in the Valero Texas Open firing a 66 final closing round.

The World No 2 made a late decision to enter the event in San Antonio for the first time in a bid to provide himself with some more competitive action ahead of the Masters.

Although he was unable to stop an inspired Martin Laird from claiming the title after the Scot’s hugely impressive final round of 63, McIlroy insisted the week had provided him with an ideal confidence boost heading to Augusta.

“I think over the last three rounds especially it’s been eliminating the stupid mistakes that I was making on the course, mental errors,” he said.

“You know, to finish off this tournament with a round like today is obviously great going into Augusta.

“So, even though… I didn’t get the trophy – Martin just played too good today, I mean, 63 out there in these conditions is phenomenal – I’m really pleased with my game, and I think this is a great week for me.

“I feel like my game’s in really good shape going into next week. A round like that today gives me a nice little bit of confidence.

“I didn’t quite get the win, but everything that I wanted to accomplish this week, I accomplished. I feel really good going into next week.”

After an indifferent start to the season which saw him surrender the World No 1 ranking to Tiger Woods, McIlroy had found his form – and decision to switch manufacturers – questioned by observers in the media.

However, the 23-year-old claimed he was always confident of turning his fortunes around and is now bullish about his prospects at the season’s first major championship.

“Yeah, it doesn’t take long,” he added.

“Just to turn around and you’re off, at least that is the case for me. I guess I was more hopeful than expecting going into the last couple of tournaments. But I think I know now where my game is at, and I’m happy with it. I’m really looking forward to next week.

“I think I know now where my game is at, and I’m happy with it. I’m really looking forward to next week.”

“Iron play is good, driving the ball, I didn’t quite drive the ball that well today, but my 3 wood was working pretty good. All in all, it’s really in a good place, and I’m looking forward to this week.”

Meanwhile, McIlroy also confirmed that girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki looks likely to caddie for him at Wednesday’s Par-3 competition at Augusta – the first time she has been present with him at a major.

“It has taken a lot of encouraging but Caroline’s about 95 per cent agreed to caddie for me in the Par-3 contest” he said. “I’ve had my dad caddie before so it will be great to have Caroline with me this year.

“Since meeting her she is getting into golf so I’m sure she will enjoy the experience, despite having to wear those white overalls.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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