McIlroy 'really positive' about performance despite falling short

Ezra Shaw / Getty Images Sport / Getty

A tough closing stretch ended Rory McIlroy's quest for his fifth major on Sunday, but the 31-year-old is taking plenty of positives from the week at Torrey Pines.

McIlroy got to within a stroke of the lead on Sunday before a bogey on the 11th and double-bogey on No. 12 effectively ended his chances at a second U.S. Open title.

Despite eventually finishing in seventh, McIlroy's pleased to contend on Sunday at a major for the first time in a couple of years.

"The last few times I've been in this sort of position, I've went out on Sunday hoping to play well, where I feel like now I know what to do to play well and I know I have the tools to play well, and it's just a matter of execution and sticking to what I've been working on," McIlroy said, according to ASAP Sports. "It was way better today. The score doesn't suggest it. There was two holes that really, as I said, were the end of my title hopes, but apart from that this week, it's been really positive."

Though McIlroy has four majors to his name, he hasn't claimed one of golf's biggest titles since the 2014 Open Championship. He has seven top-five finishes in majors since 2018, but he rarely had a legitimate chance of winning those.

McIlroy said Saturday how pleased he was to put himself in contention heading to the final round, and he reiterated on Sunday that it's an improvement over his most recent performances.

"Yes, it is disappointing that I had a chance and didn't get the job done, but considering where I've been the previous few majors, it's a big step in the right direction," he said.

The next chance for the 11th-ranked player in the world to end his major drought comes next month at the Open Championship in England.

McIlroy 'really positive' about performance despite falling short
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