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Rory McIlroy.
# Optimism
Rory McIlroy sees progress despite failing to contend at Riviera
The star was encouraged with his game at the Riviera Country Club this week.

RORY MCILROY SHOT a three-under 68 to climb into the top 20 of this week’s Genesis Open and the former world number one believes he played better than his final finishing position.

McIlroy — a four-time major champion — ultimately wound up tied for 20th at 3 under, nine shots adrift of winner Bubba Watson on Sunday.

The Northern Irishman recorded two top-three finishes to start the year on the European Tour, but has failed to replicate that success in his two PGA Tour starts in 2018.

Despite his struggles in the United States, McIlroy was encouraged with his game at the Riviera Country Club this week.

“I feel like the position that I finished didn’t quite reflect how I played,” McIlroy said after his final round, via

“I feel like I played better than finishing whatever it is, 25th or whatever it’s going to be. I feel good about my game, just need to sharpen up a couple little areas here and there. But for the most part it’s been OK.”

Still looking for his first major championship win since 2014, McIlroy heads to Florida next week to play the Honda Classic, an event he has won and lost in a playoff.

In April, McIlroy will head to Augusta National to try to finish his career grand slam.

“It was nice to play sort of early the last couple days, the greens didn’t get too crusty or too bumpy. I felt like even coming down the last few holes there, they were still good surfaces,” McIlroy said.

“Nice to get back onto Bermuda and surfaces being a little truer than what we’ve experienced the last couple weeks.”

McIlroy has three top-three placings in his last six starts worldwide, but he has not won a tournament since the 2016 Tour Championship.

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