Masters disappointment fuelling McIlroy's desire
Rory McIlroy says his Masters disappointment is fuelling his motivation for success for the rest of the season.
The Northern Irishman headed into the final round at Augusta trailing eventual winner Patrick Reed by three strokes and was considered by many as the favourite to win a first green jacket.
However, McIlroy endured a difficult final round, carding a two-over-par 74 to finish six shots off the pace as the likes of Rickie Fowler and Jordan Spieth took up the challenge to maiden major winner Reed.
McIlroy played for the first time since Augusta at the Wells Fargo Championship last weekend and placed 16th, but the four-time major champion believes upon reflection his game is in decent nick.
"No, it is [a fuel for motivation] for sure," he told a news conference ahead of The Players Championship, golf's unofficial 'fifth major'.
"As soon as the Masters went and I had a week to reflect it was all positive. I'm playing well, my game is in good shape.
"I've got this event which I've never won, I'd love to put this on my CV. We've got the other three majors and everything else to play for, we're not even halfway through the season.
"It was disappointing. I didn't get the result I wanted but I took a lot of positives from it. I didn't have my best stuff at Augusta, but I was still able to play my way into the final group and contend.
"It gives you motivation. All I want to do is give myself chances.
"Sometimes I haven't given myself time to reflect on the good things either. You go through a season and you've had a lot of success, but as a golfer you're always looking ahead to the next tournament.
"You might win on a Sunday night, but already you're looking ahead. That's the beauty of golf as well - there's always another chance.
"You have to appreciate the good times and learn from the tough, both ways you have to reflect and keep working.
"I put myself in the final group of the first major of the year and it didn't quite work out, but if I can put myself in the final group of some other events coming up then I'll have some recent experience and hopefully I'll deal with it a bit better."
McIlroy has yet to win at the iconic TPC Sawgrass and the 29-year-old concedes it was a course that he took a while to get a feel for.
"This is my ninth time here, so I'm not a spring chicken anymore," he added. "I've got a few years under my belt - and it took me a few years to figure it out - but I've had a few top-10s here.
"I haven't been quite right in contention, but I've been close enough. I think it is about time I stepped up and give myself a chance on Sunday."