Northern Ireland

Rory McIlroy vows to learn from Masters experience

Rory McIlroy has said he will learn from his Masters defeat in Augusta.

He started play on the final day with a four-shot lead but his game began to unravel with a triple-bogey at the 10th hole.

South Africa's Charl Schwartzel won the tournament by two shots. The Holywood golfer had been leading the tournament for three rounds before he started play on Sunday.

He finished the tournament in joint fifteenth place.

The 21-year-old spoke of his disappointment after the tournament.

"I was leading going into the back nine and I unravelled on 10, 11 and 12 and couldn't get it back," he said.

"I'll get over it. I'll have plenty more chances - I know that.

Character building

"I've got to take the positives. The positives were I led this golf tournament for 63 holes.

"It is very disappointing but hopefully it will build a bit of character in me."

The young County Down golfer said he would take time to reflect on his performance and on what went wrong.

"I can't really put my finger on it," he said.

"I lost a lot of confidence in my putting around the turn.

I didn't really get anything going and I was second guessing lines and second guessing my speed and on these greens, you can't do that."

Many teachers and pupils at Rory's former school, Sullivan Upper School in Holywood, watched his game on Sunday.

Principal Chris Peel said the whole school shared the golfer's disappointment.

"For three and a half days he was leading the most prestigious golf tournament in the world," he said.

"He's a young man and it puts enormous pressure on somebody of his age when you're in that position.

"Every step he took over the last three or four days, he knew that there were millions round the world watching. That puts an enormous expectation on him. He'll be disappointed. We're disappointed.

"Our advice would be to go and take a few weeks off, get your mind back on track, and then come back and storm another competition and win a major, certainly within the next couple of years and we still fully expect him to do that."

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