Masters 2014: Rory McIlroy determined to shine

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 2014 Masters
Rory McIlroy practices at Augusta National ahead of the 2014 Masters
(Image credit: Getty Images)

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."

Nick Bonfield
Features Editor

Nick Bonfield joined Golf Monthly in 2012 after graduating from Exeter University and earning an NCTJ-accredited journalism diploma from News Associates in Wimbledon. He is responsible for managing production of the magazine, sub-editing, writing, commissioning and coordinating all features across print and online. Most of his online work is opinion-based and typically centres around the Majors and significant events in the global golfing calendar. Nick has been an avid golf fan since the age of ten and became obsessed with the professional game after watching Mike Weir and Shaun Micheel win The Masters and PGA Championship respectively in 2003. In his time with Golf Monthly, he's interviewed the likes of Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, Jose Maria Olazabal, Henrik Stenson, Padraig Harrington, Lee Westwood and Billy Horschel and has ghost-written columns for Westwood, Wayne Riley, Matthew Southgate, Chris Wood and Eddie Pepperell. Nick is a 12-handicap golfer and his favourite courses include Old Head, Sunningdale New, Penha Longha, Valderrama and Bearwood Lakes. If you have a feature pitch for Nick, please email with 'Pitch' in the subject line. Nick is currently playing: Driver: TaylorMade M1 Fairway wood: TaylorMade RBZ Stage 2 Hybrid: Ping Crossover Irons (4-9): Nike Vapor Speed Wedges: Cleveland CBX Full Face, 56˚, Titleist Vokey SM4, 60˚ Putter: testing in progress! Ball: TaylorMade TP5x