McIlroy posts career-best at The Masters | Proud of ‘incredible’ finish
McIlroy holed out from the bunker on the 72nd hole to post a final-round 64 and claim second place at Augusta National; Scottie Scheffler secures fourth win in six starts with impressive three-shot victory at The Masters
By Ali Stafford at Augusta National
Last Updated: 11/04/22 12:31am
Rory McIlroy was proud of the way he made a late charge for an unexpected Masters victory and secured a career-best finish at Augusta National.
McIlroy’s hopes of completing the career Grand Slam were effectively ended after he posted back-to-back 73s over the first two days, with the four-time major champion still 10 strokes behind leader Scottie Scheffler after a third-round 71.
The former world No 1 charged up the leaderboard when he followed five birdies in his first ten holes with an eagle-three at the par-five 13th, taking him to seven under for the round, with a spectacular bunker hole-out at the last securing a round-of-the-day 64.
“I gave it a great go, and I can’t ask any more of myself,” McIlroy said. “I went out there today, shot my best ever score at Augusta and it’s going to be my best finish ever. Probably not quite good enough, but I’ll come back next year and keep trying.”
The Northern Irishman made the dream start to the final day with an opening-hole birdie and drove the par-four third green on his way to picking up another shot, with back-to-back birdies from the seventh seeing him reach the turn in 32.
McIlroy started his back nine with a birdie and rolled in a ten-foot eagle after a superb approach into the par-five 13th, taking him to seven under for his round and raising the possibility of the first ’62 round’ in Masters history.
Any chance of a record-low score was halted when his drive found the trees at the par-five 15th, forcing him to lay up and settle for a par, although his incredible birdie on the 72nd hole saw him close out a bogey-free final day in style and set the clubhouse target at seven under.
“You dream about getting yourself in position [major contention],” McIlroy added. “I wasn’t quite close enough to the lead, I don’t think. Scottie [Scheffler] is playing really, really well. To play as well as I did today and then to finish like this, I mean, it’s just absolutely incredible.
“This tournament never ceases to amaze. Yeah, that’s as happy as I’ve ever been on a golf course right there. Just having a chance, and then with Collin [Morikawa], we both played so well all day, and for both of us to finish like this, I was just so happy for him too.”
McIlroy’s performance is his best in 14 attempts at Augusta National, beating the fourth-place finish in 2015, with the strong week his best display in a major since claiming tied-second at The Open in 2018.
April 11, 2022, 7:00pm
Lowry rues missed opportunity
Cameron Smith finished five off the pace in tied-third alongside Ireland’s Shane Lowry, who bounced back from a triple-bogey at the par-four fourth to card a five-under 67 and also end the week on five under.
“To finish the way I did is very pleasing,” Lowry said. “Yeah, it’s going to be one of those where it’s like so near and so far type thing. I don’t know how many chances you’re going to get to win the Green Jacket.
“It is a bit of a disappointing kind of feeling right now, but obviously, my finish was really good, and I played some great golf all week.
“The big thing I can take away from the last two days being in contention around here is how comfortable I felt on the golf course. I’m proud of myself to the way I handled myself and especially when things went against me today. To shoot five under for the last 13 holes was pretty good.”