McIlroy: I must improve mentally to win at Augusta


Rory McIlroy says he must improve mentally to win an elusive Masters title and complete a career Grand Slam.

World number three McIlroy played himself into contention with a battling second-round 71 as others around him struggled in difficult conditions, and that was enough to leave him in the final pairing on Saturday.

However, he carded a disappointing 77 on round three and eventually finished in a tie for 10th, six shots off winner Danny Willett.

McIlroy's best finish at a Masters came last year when he placed fourth, while his best opportunity was in 2011 when he led going into Sunday before his famous last-round meltdown.

The 26-year-old feels he has the game to win at Augusta, but admits he is struggling to contend with the mental pressure of winning a green jacket.

"I was in a great position going into the weekend, I was a shot back in the final group on Saturday and I just didn't play the golf I needed to when it really mattered," he said. 

"That's the thing that I take away not just from this week, but from previous Masters. I've been in position before and haven't got the job done when I needed to and I don't think that's anything to do with my game, I think that's more me mentally."

He added: "I'm trying to deal with the pressure of it and the thrill of the achievement if it were to happen. I think that's the thing that's really holding me back.

"So, the more times I can get in position to win this tournament, the more times I'll learn and I'll know what not to do. I feel like I learned a lot reflecting on it and that's something that hopefully I'll do things differently [next time].

"This is the one that I haven't won and this is the one I want to win more than anything else. I won a Claret Jug, I want to win more. I won a Wanamaker, I won the U.S. Open, but this is the one that I haven't.

"Once I overcome that mental hurdle that I'm struggling with at the minute, then I know how to play this course, I've played this course very well before, and I can string good rounds together here, but it's just a matter of doing it."