Rory McIlroy finds best form in time for the Masters with flawless 65

时间:2019-11-16  作者:利帧衔  来源:美高梅  浏览:62次  评论:190条

The art of perfect timing matters so much that was entitled to fly to Augusta on Sunday night for the Masters with a positive mindset. He had, after all, produced his best form in the final round of the Houston Open on Sunday.

McIlroy had spent the first three days at this tournament desperately searching for a spark to ignite his game. It duly arrived as the Northern Irishman returned a superb and flawless 65 to earn a top-10 finish with an eight-under par 280 at the Club of Houston.

"I couldn't be in a better mood getting on the plane and heading over there tonight," McIlroy said. "As I said on Saturday, I couldn't really get anything going and wanted to shoot something in the 60s to give me some positive vibes heading to Augusta.

"I can't ask for much more heading into next week. I didn't make any mistakes, didn't hit any balls into the water, didn't miss any short putts. I holed the putts that I felt I should hole and kept the ball in play all day. I had been saying all week that I felt comfortable with my game and the scores hadn't really reflected that. Today I just pieced it all together."

Quite rightly, McIlroy regarded his Sunday display here as among his finest this year despite the fact that statistically it was not the best. It included only 24 putts, thereby highlighting the difference in McIlroy's game when he is sharp on the greens. It has been evident for some time that he has few problems elsewhere, which justifies both his general status as the Masters favourite and his upbeat attitude.

"I have struggled in a few final rounds and a few weekends this year so this is right up there," he added. "Even though there wasn't any great pressure on me today, it was still nice to score 65 on a weekend. It means something to finish the tournament off well. I'm hitting the ball well but if you are not putting numbers on the card, it doesn't matter."

So the key question remains – can McIlroy take this form into the Masters and claim a third major ?

His putting coach, Dave Stockton, is in no doubt about those prospects. "Every club Rory has in his bag he is happy with," he said. He is in a really good place, mind, body and soul. The Masters is top of Rory's list, given he came so close in 2011. He has learned from the experience of three years ago. Even though we know what happened there, he goes back there with no scars."

McIlroy's detailed work at Augusta National this year means he is not planning to play on the course at all until Tuesday afternoon, with only range and putting work scheduled for Monday. A noon finish in Houston on Sunday also afforded him decent rest time.

"It's just about maintenance now and making sure everything is good," he explained. "I know the course, I know what challenges it is going to present. It's just about making sure you can execute the shots that you want to. I feel like I am one of a handful of guys that are hopefully going to be up there next week. It was nice to see some of the game that I feel like I have coming through today. Hopefully I can show it a bit more next week as well.

"No matter what happened here I was going to do the same thing at Augusta. I will go to the course tomorrow but probably won't play any holes. I'll probably play a few on Tuesday afternoon and nine on Wednesday."

Lee Westwood was another who enjoyed a positive final round on Sunday. The Englishman signed for a closing 69 which was only blighted by a bogey at the 18th, and a six-under par aggregate of 282.

Luke Donald was further down the field but still within the top 30 after a fourth consecutive 71 – featuring one birdie and 17 pars – left him at four-under.

Matt Kuchar threw away a five-stroke lead in the Shell Houston Open when Australian Matt Jones forced him into a play-off.

They each failed to reach the green in two on the first play-off hole - the 18th - but Jones stunned the American when chipping in, leaving Kuchar having to do the same from a bunker. Kuchar came up short and the Australian not only banked the winners' cheque but also earned the final place for the Masters.