Rory McIlroy says that his final round at the Shell Houston Open has put him in an ideal state of mind before the US Masters begins next week.
McIlroy is the favourite to take home the green jacket next week in Augusta and will be heading to the famous golf course in full confidence following his score of 65 in the fourth round of the Houston Open.
The 24-year-old went into the closing round in an unremarkable T37 position, with his score at -1, but quickly climbed up the leader-board to T7, eventually finishing with a score of seven-under-par for the day – the best out of anybody in the field.
McIlroy made three birdies on the front-nine at holes three, four and eight before finishing off his competition in style by making birdie four times in the final nine holes of the tournament.
As such, the Northern Irishman admits that he could hardly have asked for a better week ahead of Augusta.
“It was a good way to end the week, obviously,” McIlroy told reporters in Houston. "I wanted to shoot something in the 60’s at least today to give me some positive vibes going into Augusta. I played really well and played really solid from tee-to-green again."
"I holed the putts that I felt I should hole and just kept the ball in play all day. “
“Every time I hit it pretty close, within 10 feet, I holed the putt. It was great to see a few putts like that drop. It's a nice bit of confidence going into next week.
He continued: "I'm happy with how this week went, even though I didn't quite do what I wanted to do in terms of getting in contention, but I sort of made up for it today.
“I couldn't be in a better mood getting on the plane and heading over (to Augusta) tonight."
The world number seven also took to Twitter, after his impressive round in Houston, to state how ‘excited’ he is about the upcoming Masters competition.
McIlroy has been instilled as the 8/1 bookies favourite, alongside last year’s Masters winner Adam Scott, ahead of golf’s most coveted major’s start date on Thursday and it is easy to see why.
The two-time major winner has made two top ten finishes in the five tournaments he has played on the PGA Tour this season and seems to have regained his top-form, which established him as one of the best golfers in the world, and deserted him for much of the 2013 season.
Despite McIlroy’s good week in Houston he still couldn’t catch the eventual winner Matt Jones – who won a play-off against Matt Kuchar, after the pair both finished on -15 for the week.
Kuchar had looked the most likely winner of the competition, but he slipped up on the final hole and made bogey, before Jones claimed victory thanks to a brilliant chip-in in the playoff.
However, failure to be victorious in the competition isn’t necessarily a bad thing for McIlroy or Kuchar as no player who has won in Houston has ever gone on to win the Masters previously.
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