He might be only four shots off the pace at the Masters but Rory McIlroy said he is disappointed with what could have been on Thursday.
Bidding to win his first green jacket at Augusta, four-time major champion McIlroy came unstuck late as he carded a two-under-par 70.
After going under radar on the front nine, McIlroy was only two off Jordan Spieth and the lead at four under when he followed an eagle at 13 with a birdie at 15.
But that is as good as it got for McIlroy, who three-putted at the back of the 16th green before bogeying again at the final hole, though the Northern Irishman remains upbeat.
"It would've been nice to get it in at four under but saying that, standing on the first tee this afternoon, I probably would've taken a 70," McIlroy, who finished tied for fourth at the tournament last year, told Sky Sports.
"It was tricky out there, it was tough conditions. There were some holes where you just had to make a par and move on, there were others you could take advantage of but I'm a little bit disappointed with 70.
"It probably could've been better but I can go out there tomorrow and know that I can be aggressive on some holes.
"I think the wind is going to be pretty much from the same direction so at least I know how the course is going to play and hopefully I can shoot a few better tomorrow."
Of his form at the par fives, McIlroy added: "I think I played the par fives here last year in 14 under and I've played them today in four.
"If you can do that around this gold course then you're never going to be far away so hopefully I can continue to do that pick up a few birdies here and there on the par threes and par fours."