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.

News
Emma Watson has become the latest target of the 4Chan nude hacking scandal
people
News
Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
peopleBut he does like Stewart Lee
Sport
David Moyes and Louis van Gaal
football
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Alan Turing, who was convicted of gross indecency in 1952, was granted a royal pardon last year
life
Life and Style
life
Arts and Entertainment
Tennis player Andy Murray's mum Judy has been paired with Anton du Beke for Strictly Come Dancing. 'I'm absolutely delighted,' she said.
tvJudy Murray 'struggling' to let Anton Du Beke take control on Strictly
Life and Style
Vote with your wallet: the app can help shoppers feel more informed about items on sale
lifeNew app reveals political leanings of food companies
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of Dark Side of the Moon
musicCan 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition? See for yourself
Sport
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
rugby
Arts and Entertainment
Worldwide ticket sales for The Lion King musical surpassed $6.2bn ($3.8bn) this summer
tvMusical is biggest grossing show or film in history
Voices
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
Arts and Entertainment
Salmond told a Scottish television chat show in 2001that he would also sit in front of a mirror and say things like,
tvCelebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
News
i100
Life and Style
food + drink
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

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits