Rory McIlroy says grand slam pressure is ‘holding me back’

Rory McIlroy admitted he felt the pressure of trying to complete the career grand slam after a disappointing weekend at Augusta National.

McIlroy went into the third round of the Masters just a shot behind defending champion Jordan Spieth, but struggled to a 77 to fall five shots adrift, a deficit he never threatened to make up on Sunday.

"I was in a great position going into the weekend and I just didn't play the golf I needed to when it really mattered," McIlroy said after a closing 71 featuring seven birdies and six bogeys. "That's the thing that I take away not just from this week, but from previous Masters.

Rory McIlroy says grand slam pressure is ‘holding me back’

"I've been in position before and I haven't got the job done when I needed to and I don't think that's anything to do with my game, I think that's more me mentally - I'm trying to deal with the pressure of it and the thrill of the achievement if it were to happen. I think that's the thing that's really holding me back.

"The more times I can get in position to win this tournament, the more times I'll learn and I'll know what not to do. And I feel like I learned a lot yesterday reflecting on it and that's something that hopefully I'll do things differently.

"This is the one that I haven't won and this is the one I want to win more than anything else. I won a Claret Jug, I want to win more. I won a Wanamaker (Trophy), I won the US Open, but this is the one that I haven't.

"Once I overcome that mental hurdle that I'm struggling with at the minute, then I know how to play this course. I've played this course very well before and I can string good rounds together here, but it's just a matter of doing it."

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