McIlroy returned to the golfing spotlight yesterday (FRIDAY) when he joined fellow Irish golfing greats Padraig Harrington, Paul McGinley and Shane Lowry in the official opening of the revamped Adare Manor course in Co. Limerick.
McIlroy teamed with McGinley to tackle Harrington and Lowry in a Euro 500,000 event where the winning team donated Euro 350,000 to chosen charities and the runners-up donating Euro 150,000.
Some 1,500 Adare Manor members and their guests were admitted to the course and played in glorious Spring weather.
McIlroy, however, found himself before tee-off being quizzed on the events of three weeks ago when he produced a horrendous last day opening drive en route to shooting a round of 74 and lose by six shots to American Patrick Reed.
“Look I view Augusta as a very positive week as I put myself in position to win another Major,” McIlroy said.
Rory McIlroy has put his Masters disappointment behind him
“It didn’t quite happen for me but there is a long list of positives that far outweighs the negatives.
“I wish I had of put more pressure on Patrick Reed early on in the fourth round and I wasn’t able to do it, and that was really it.
“I have three more chances this year. My game is clearly in great shape. I have won this year and I have given myself chances in the first Major and there is no reason why I cannot go to the other three and also give myself chances, and if I do that I feel like I will add to my Majors tally.”
McIlroy, who will next compete in the May 3 commencing Wells Fargo Championship, said he spent the days after the year’s first Major simply chilling out at his Jupiter abode.
“All I did in those days after the Masters was to shut myself off for about a week and just had the week at home,” he said.
“I didn’t really do much other than catching-up on a few TV shows and caught-up on reading a couple of books and that was it.”
A host of top golfers were at Adare Manor
He was also asked to compare a first Masters meltdown in 2011, and when he enjoyed a four-shot 54-hole Augusta lead only to shoot 80 and eventually share 15th place, to this year’s second disappointment.
“Well I shot six shots better over the final round but I do think I have learned something from this year’s Masters,” he said smiling.
“I have been in the final group of Majors before and I have played well, and I think the mental energy it took for me to do what I did on the Saturday… I felt that to have backed-up what I did on Saturday was going to be very difficult. I was three shots behind and I needed to make a fast start and maybe I put myself under too much pressure to make that fast start.
So, it definitely wasn’t as a big a learning day as 2011 as that was my first time in that situation and I didn’t handle it very well.
“This year, I just didn’t quite have it and that doesn’t mean that my game is not right there but then I have a good run of golf coming-up. I am playing seven of the next eight weeks and I feel like I will give myself plenty more chances to win tournaments and hopefully win Majors.”
McIlroy indicated he will be contesting seven events in a 10-week span leading-up to and including host to the July 5th commencing Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Ballyliffin.
They include – Wells Fargo Championship (May 3-6), the Players Championship (May 10-13), the BMW PGA (May 24-27), the Memorial (May 31 – June 3), U.S. Open (June 14-17), Travelers (June 21 – 24) and the Irish Open (June 5-8).
It is the first occasion an event has been staged at Adare Manor since Harrington won the 2007 Irish Open and when England’s Richard Finch tumbled backwards into the Maigue River at the 72nd hole in winning the 2008 Irish Open.
Adare Manor owner, J. P. McManus commissioned renowned golf course designer, Tom Fazio to undertake the work and with input from both Harrington and McGinley.
"To come back here where I won my Irish Open in 2007 has been very interesting to see how Tom has revamped the course but then it's been great that Tom has sought my advice and if we had ideas on how a hole should be changed or whatever, we talked about it," said Harrington.
"For the most part we were both on the same page.
"It's been interesting for me as I have never seen anything on this scale before in terms of re-designing an entire golf course, and to listen to Tom and understand his expertise when it comes to golf course design has been a strong learning point for me.
"As a player, we would turn-up at a golf course and it is very easy to playt 18 holes on the golf course and to see something on the course that you may think is wrong and that you like to change.
"But to be here at Adare Manor when Tom began his redesign work from really a blank canvas has been really interesting."
"So, to be back to Adare Manor and see the finished product is truly remarkable."
The event Friday ended all-square with all four players splitting the Euro 500,000 for distribution to their chosen charity.