Rory McIlroy (Getty Images)
Frustration was the overriding emotion for Rory McIlroy as his bid for a first Masters Tournament title ended just as the leaders teed off in their final round.
The 23 year old Northern Irishman carded a closing 69 at Augusta, ten shots better than his third round, to finish the week two over par, meaning he has yet to finish better than 15th in five attempts.
"I know I've played good enough golf here to win, it's just a matter of stringing it all together," McIlroy said. "I was in a good position and did not quite have it all yesterday and that really cost me.
"You have to be right on your game for 72 holes here, I played a five-hole stretch in five over and that was really it. I played nicely again today, if I just limit the mistakes from yesterday I am right there.
"It's frustrating. Sometimes you hit a good shot and all of a sudden it's off the green; it is what it is and you have to embrace it. It's Augusta and you're going to get some good bounces, you're going to get some bad. It will all even out in the end.
"My misses have been wide and that's the thing that I need to sort out. A perfect example is the 11th yesterday. Instead of just missing it in the right rough you miss it 20 yards in the trees and you don't have any shot.
"And then all of a sudden you chip it out and then you put your third in the water and it's tough."
As for his preparation, McIlroy added: "This is the first year I have not come here beforehand and I quite like that because you can over-think it.
"If you're here for three or four days in advance it almost gets too much. It was nice to play the week before (in Texas) and not come and have a round, because apart a slight change on the 14th green, it hasn't really changed. And the course is so different from Wednesday night to Thursday morning anyway that it almost isn't worth it."