THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – On Friday, Rory McIlroy said there was plenty of good in his game. He also said there was plenty of bad, pointing out that through two rounds at the Zozo Championship he’d made 15 birdies and yet was mired in the middle of the pack.
Following Sunday’s final round, he was asked to reassess his game in what will be his final tune-up before next month’s Masters.
“After two days I had made seven [birdies] the first day, eight the second day, so I made 15 birdies after two days and was not in the top 40, so I was pretty proud of that,” he said with a laugh. “I kept saying to [caddie Harry Diamond] every time I made a birdie, ‘23, 24, 25.’ He said, ‘That’s not a good thing. You’re 20th in the tournament and you made so many birdies.’”
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He added seven more birdies on Sunday (29 for the week) on his way to a closing 66 that moved him into the top 15 at 15 under par and gave him some momentum heading into the year’s final major. The Northern Irishman explained the key at Augusta National will be avoiding the mistakes that haunted him for the first two rounds at Sherwood Country Club.
“I’m trying to be really almost just too perfect and I’m maybe just being a touch aggressive when I get myself out of position,” he said. “So just taking my medicine a little bit more when I do. That was sort of the story of the week.”
McIlroy said he plans to take a scouting trip to Augusta National before the Masters to get a feel for how the course will play in November but won’t play another PGA Tour event before the tournament. In fact, he said that after the Masters he plans to take 2 ½ months off with his next likely start the Farmers Insurance Open in late January.