April 8 2012
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- On the bright side, there was no final-round collapse. That’s because Rory McIlroy wasn’t in position to have one.
McIlroy shot himself out of contention with a 77 in the third round and was only one stroke better in the final round.
The 22-year-old Northern Irishman who led through 63 holes at last year’s Masters, struggled right from the start of this year’s tournament. He double bogeyed the first hole on Thursday, then did the same on Saturday before. Collectively, he played the most difficult hole on the course in 5 over.
“I got off to a bad start and just couldn't really recover from that,” McIlroy said. “I felt like coming into the weekend I had a chance and sort of blew up the first nine holes on Saturday, and it wasn't great, so I was just trying to recover some today, but I didn't really have my best game today.”
McIlroy opened with a bogey at the first and didn’t make a birdie until the ninth, going out in 38 before coming in in the same.
The reigning U.S. Open champion will take the next three weeks off before playing in next month’s Wells Fargo Championship.