Rory McIlroy feels his game is in good shape heading into the 2014 Masters at Augusta National as he bids to win a first PGA Tour event since the September 2012


Rory McIlroy is determined to banish memories of a heart-wrenching final-round collapse in 2011 and put in a strong challenge at this year’s Masters.

The Northern Irishman suffered a well-documented lull in 2013, but claimed the Emirates Australian Open in December to put himself back on the right track.

And despite being winless thus far in 2014, he’s recorded a number of positive finishes and shows glimpses of the form that saw him dominate the world game just two years ago.

The most recent came at last week’s Shell Houston Open, where he fired a flawless closing 65 to force his way into the top 10.

“I feel like I’m going into it a little bit like 2011. I’m playing nicely, comfortable with my game, being in contention a little bit without quite getting the win,” said McIlroy.

“I’m just waiting for that week where everything really clicks.

“If I can win this week I think it would stop all the talk about everything that has happened. Not just Augusta in 2011 but also the year I had last season.

“My start to this year has meant everything sort of dwindled down anyway.

“I mean, when was the last time I was asked a question about my equipment? It doesn’t happen any more because I’m playing well, getting myself back into positions that both people expect me to be in and I have been in before.”

Despite his recent performances, McIlroy is keen to put an end to an ever-increasing American victory drought that stretches back to September 2012.

“The thing is, I haven’t won a PGA Tour event since the 2012 BMW Championship at Crooked Stick.

“I don’t want that going on much longer. I don’t want to go two years without a PGA Tour win.

“The next big thing is getting back competing, which I am, then getting the wins and building that back up, as well as competing in Majors again.

“Winning the Masters would put all that to bed.”