March 10 2013
McIlroy found his swing -- and his confidence -- at TPC Blue Monster. (Little/Getty Images)
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
DORAL, Fla. -- A week ago, Rory McIlroy couldn't have imaged a round like had on Sunday.
"I was pretty down about my game coming into this week,," McIlroy said. "A day like today felt like a long way away if I'm honest."
McIlroy shot a 7-under 65 at TPC Blue Monster at Doral, where he vaulted up the leaderboard to end his week at the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship at 10 under.
Only a week ago, McIlroy had walked off the golf course in the middle of his second round at The Honda Classic, where he admitted to not being in a good place mentally and cited a toothache as his reason for withdrawing.
Questions abounded over his golf swing, his decision to change equipment in the offseason as part of a lucrative deal with Nike and even the status of his relationship with his girlfriend.
McIlroy answered the questions then let his clubs do the rest.
After breaking par for the first time this year earlier in the week, McIlroy torched TPC Blue Monster, opening with an eagle on the par-5 first before adding five more birdies the rest of the day.
"A few days like I've played, it does my confidence a world of good," McIlroy said. "I probably wear my heart on my sleeve a bit with my golf. If I have a bad round, it's sort of like the end of the world, but if I play a good one, I'm happy again."
With the Masters five weeks away, McIlroy has reason to smile again.
He'll play in Ernie Els' tournament on Monday to benefit the Els for Autism Foundation before spending next weekend with girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki, who will be in Miami. Then he'll play the Shell Houston Open before heading to Augusta the week before the tournament.
"I always think when I'm playing bad that it's further away than it is," McIlroy said of his play. "That's just where I have to stay patient and let whatever happens, happen, and know that if I put in the hard work, that the results will bear fruit; whether that's sooner or later, it doesn't really matter."