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Rory McIlroy explains how 2011 Masters meltdown helped him win his first Major

“I think you learn a lot more from your mistakes,” says the world number one.
Mar 5th 2015, 8:27 PM 4,270 1

RORY MCILROY CREDITS his heartbreaking meltdown at the 2011 Masters for paving the way for his first Major win.

The world number one returns to the scene of that nightmare collapse next month where he bids to win a third straight Major and complete the career Grand Slam.

He was just 21 when he took a four-shot lead into the final day at Augusta National but crumbled under the final day spotlight and finished in a tie for 15th.

He bounced back 10 weeks later to romp to a record win at the US Open at Congressional, and agrees that there was “no way” he would have won without the Masters experience.

“I don’t feel like you learn that much with your wins or success,” he said this week as he prepared for the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral.

“I think you learn about yourself and you learn that you can handle the pressure or you can do certain things under pressure that you mightn’t have done before, but definitely during your losses is where you learn the most.

I’ve always said that the last round at Augusta in 2011 was a huge learning curve for me and I took a lot from that day, just how I approach final rounds, and especially when you’re in the lead and there’s a bit of pressure there.

“I think you learn a lot more from your mistakes. You always do because you make a mistake and you try to make sure that you don’t make it again.

“A lot of that [US Open] win has to do with what happened at Augusta a couple of months previous.”

A Masters win would see McIlroy join an elite list of just five golfers who have won all four Majors during the career.

Still a few months short of his 26th birthday, he insists there’s no rush.

I think there is a bit of that, a bit of a false sense of urgency, because this isn’t going to be — touch wood, if this table’s wood — it’s not going to be the only Masters I play in for the rest of my career, so I will hopefully have many more opportunities to try and win it.

“But yeah, after my previous couple of performances in the Majors, I can see why it has got like this.

“I mean, I’m going for three majors in a row, going for my first Masters. If I win Augusta, I have the chance to hold all four at one point. There’s a lot of storylines.”

Originally published at 13.05

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Niall Kelly

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