McIlroy escapes bunker mentality to finish well

Rory McIlroy finished an eventful Masters debut in brilliant style as he came home in 31 strokes in yesterday's fourth round. The Northern Irish youngster was already assured of being the low teenager for the week after his fellow starlets, Ryo Ishikawa, 17, and Danny Lee, 18, both missed the cut.



But the 19-year-old McIlroy had his dramas on Friday as he dropped five strokes in the last three holes to fall to the cut line and was then called in by the Masters rules committee to explain his actions in a bunker at the last hole. His explanation that he was smoothing over the sand, and not kicking at it in anger, was accepted and McIlroy played on.

Yesterday he seemed to be suffering from all the excitement of his inaugural Masters week when he suffered two bogeys and a double-bogey, at the short sixth, in the first eight holes. But McIlroy then picked himself up and produced some superb shot-making as he collected six birdies in the last 10 holes. "It was a great way to finish the week," McIlroy said. "Coming up the ninth I said to my caddie that I didn't want to shoot 40 on the front nine so I wanted to get a birdie there and then try and come home in 30."

McIlroy missed that target by one but made birdies at the 11th, the two par-fives, the 13th and 15th, then the short 16th and the 17th. He finished at two under par in his first ever major championship as a professional. "I know I have the game to play well in majors," he said.

"It was a pretty good first Masters but I was hoping to do a little better. Hopefully, I can do better in the last three majors of the year."

McIlroy played very steady golf for the first 33 holes of the tournament to get on to the leader board but only briefly. Then followed a four-putt at the 16th and he left a shot in the bunker at the last while collecting a seven.

"If I'd had the finish today on Friday then I would still be out there now," he suggested, "but I've learnt a lot more about the course for next time and the influences on the greens. I also learnt not to dance in the bunkers, he added"

Padraig Harrington's quest for a third successive major came to an end on Saturday with a nine at the second hole. He battled back for a 73 and finished with the same score yesterday after a triple-bogey seven at the ninth.

Even Tiger Woods says he has never won a major without having luck on his side and it was very definitely not with Harrington here in Georgia this week. But that will not stop the Dubliner being ready to take advantage if things start falling his way at the US Open in June.

Can the same be said for Sergio Garcia? Going into the weekend here, Harrington and Garcia seemed once again to be Europe's strongest contenders for major honours. But apart from nine holes on Friday afternoon, Garcia has not found form this season and once more he is fretting over his putting. There were four putts on the fourth green in yesterday's. 74 so it is still a work in progress.

Sandy Lyle, the 1988 champion, played with Harrington yesterday and beat him by two strokes while Paul Casey closed with a 69.

Casey arrived having won for the first time in America at the Houston Open. But yesterday was the first time his game came right. "I really wanted to be involved at the pointy end of the tournament as I love it here, so it was frustrating not being up there," he said.

Voices
Lucerne’s Hotel Château Gütsch, one of the lots in our Homeless Veterans appeal charity auction
charity appeal
Arts and Entertainment
Tony Hughes (James Nesbitt) after his son Olly disappeared on a family holiday in France
tv
News
people

Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt

Sport
Nabil Bentaleb (centre) celebrates putting Tottenham ahead
footballTottenham 4 Newcastle 0: Spurs fans dreaming of Wembley final after dominant win
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The Apprentice candidates Roisin Hogan, Solomon Akhtar, Mark Wright, Bianca Miller, Daniel Lassman
tvReview: But which contestants got the boot?
Life and Style
A woman walks by a pandal art installation entitled 'Mars Mission' with the figure of an astronaut during the Durga Puja festival in Calcutta, India
techHow we’ll investigate the existence of, and maybe move in with, our alien neighbours
Arts and Entertainment
Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels ride again in Dumb and Dumber To
filmReview: Dumb And Dumber To was a really stupid idea
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Ian McKellen tempts the Cookie Monster
tvSir Ian McKellen joins the Cookie Monster for a lesson on temptation
News
i100
Travel
Tourists bask in the sun beneath the skyscrapers of Dubai
travelBritish embassy uses social media campaign to issue travel advice for festive holiday-makers in UAE
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum
France's Front National and the fear of a ‘gay lobby’ around Marine Le Pen

Front National fear of ‘gay lobby’

Marine Le Pen appoints Sébastien Chenu as cultural adviser