Rory McIlroy reviewed Augusta performance to improve techniques for PGA

After his disappointing finish at Augusta National, Rory McIlroy couldn't help reliving the disappointment.

During a week of reflection following his 21st-place finish, he logged on to the Masters app and reviewed the video footage of his performance, spending the bulk of his time examining the bad shots.

McIlroy realized he made 15 birdies and three eagles, more than enough to win the one major that has eluded him, but 16 bogeys during the four rounds was far too many mistakes.

Most glaring of all: he noticed he missed too many shots to the right, in particular on the approach to No. 11 green and off the 17th tee -- both of which happened on three of four days.

"I saw something in my swing that I hadn't seen in quite a while," he said. "I was coming up out of my posture."

In effect, McIlroy was lifting up and losing his spine angle, forcing the club to get behind him and to travel a much longer route to the ball. That resulted in him leaving the club face open.

"If your mechanics aren't correct, they tend to breakdown under pressure situations," McIlroy said.

Knowing is half the battle and McIlroy said he spent time with instructor Michael Bannon to rectify the situation and to rely less on timing and more on sound mechanics.

To do so, McIlroy steepened his shoulder plane and attempted to get the club in front of him on the way back. At first, working on staying in his posture was an uncomfortable feeling for the four-time major champion.

"For the first couple of days, it felt like I was trying to get my nose to touch the ball," he said.

To win the PGA Championship and end his major drought at 17 starts, McIlroy knows that driving accuracy is going to be the key to being in the trophy hunt.

"If you miss the fairway, you lose so much control," he said.

McIlroy showed some promising signs of fixing his posture at the Wells Fargo Championship, finishing T-8, in his lone start since the Masters. But a final-round 73 was yet another Sunday swoon for McIlroy, who chalked it up to "a couple of bad decisions."

Bethpage Black, the site of this week's 101st PGA Championship, is a familiar stomping ground for McIlroy. This is where he made his U.S. Open debut in 2009, and finished 10th. He's also played the course two previous times at The Barclays, the former FedEx Cup playoff event on the PGA Tour.

"I love the golf course," McIlroy said. "I think it is one of the best major championship venues we play."

Playing at a par 70 and measuring 7,457 yard, Bethpage Black is a long test that should suit McIlroy's power game. Add in the soft conditions from showers on Sunday and Monday that soaked the course and Bethpage Black should be right in McIlroy's wheelhouse.

"Being wet, it'll be interesting to see," defending champion Brooks Koepka said.

"It makes the fairways a little bit wider, which I think could be in our benefit or especially the longer hitters because we can get it a little bit further down there. And usually the longer hitters aren't as accurate, so open up those fairways for us, and these greens will be quite receptive."

McIlroy has been stuck on four majors since the 2014 PGA Championship at Valhalla. He also won the PGA in 2012 at Kiawah, and he'll be the first to admit that he likes the way the PGA is set up.

"I feel sometimes majors championship courses are brought to the edge and sometimes good shots are punished," McIlroy said. "I think the setup is very fair. I think Kerry Haigh (the PGA's chief championships officer) is the best in the business at setting courses up. I've said that for a long time."

McIlroy enters the season's second major having racked up top-10 finishes, but with only one victory at The Players to show for it, the big question continues to be "What's wrong with Rory?"

CBS Sports commentator Jim Nantz expressed his frustration with a narrative that he can't understand.

"It's a constant drumbeat of what's wrong with him instead of what's right," Nantz said.

"Look at the guy's record this year. He's had one event -- granted it was the Masters -- where he's been outside the top 10. It could've been more. But we get on a roll -- all of us -- and we dictate that story line -- whatever it is -- and right now we're selling the public what's wrong with Rory? I'm not. I don't believe in that. I think there is a lot right and he's close to being able to do whatever he wants to do and have the type of performances where he wins by eight strokes."

In his pre-tournament interview, McIlroy sounded like a man confident he could cut down on the mistakes that doomed his career Grand Slam bid at Augusta if he can only maintain his cool and his posture.

"We're playing at a golf course that I like, that I've had some experience on," McIlroy said. "I know if I play the way I can, hopefully I'll have a chance."

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