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August 11 2013

8:43 PM

Rory: Headed in the right direction

McIlroy finished in a tie for eighth at 3 under at Oak Hill. (Carr/Getty Images)

By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM

PITTSFORD, N.Y. -- Rory McIlroy made a speedy exit following his final round at Oak Hill, quickly putting on his tennis shoes after answering a few questions and heading to the airport.

In reality, he departed much earlier in the day when his 9-iron approach to the fifth green spun back into the water. He went on to make triple bogey and ended any hopes for a second straight PGA Championship.

While McIlroy didn't leave with the Wanamaker trophy, he did gain something else -- confidence.

"It's close," McIlroy said of his game. "I played really good today. It gives me a lot of confidence going into the (FedExCup) Playoffs."

To his point, McIlroy rallied with three birdies over his final 13 holes, making just one bogey the rest of the day en route to an even-par 70 and a tie for eighth at 3 under.

It wasn't all that dissimilar to what he did on Friday when, staring at missing the cut in a second straight major, he made four birdies over his final seven holes to get to the weekend.

He kept the momentum going a day later with a 67 that got him into contention, six shots off the lead going into the final round.

"I'm just disappointed because I felt like if I would have capitalized on the way I played, (the outcome) would have been much better," McIlroy said of his final round. "But it's definitely a step in the right direction."

And an important one for McIlroy, who still has the FedExCup Playoffs and events overseas left on his calendar.

"I've got four big weeks coming up and want to finish the PGA TOUR season well, and I have some events in Asia, so I could still salvage a bit of the season," he said. "I saw a lot of great signs out there today."

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