Rory McIlroy says missing the cut at the Masters gave him a bit of a “wake-up call” as he prepares for this week’s US PGA Championship at Oak Hill.
The Northern Irishman claimed the title for the second time in 2014 but has yet to add to that fourth major victory.
“I was never so sure I was going to have a good week at Augusta, then it happened,” McIlroy told BBC Sport.
“The night before I felt so good, but the game can bring you down to earth pretty quickly.”
The world number three added: “It was a big lesson for me not to put too much feelings or vibes.
“I shot five under the back nine on Wednesday afternoon [in practice] and everything was well located, but that’s golf.
“The best way is not to let you get to that level of expectation. I need to be a little more accepted.
“Looking back on Augusta and the past few months, my level of acceptance wasn’t where it should be. If I work on that, I know I’ll be playing good golf again.”
McIlroy had good reason to enter the Masters with such confidence given he won the PGA Tour’s CJ Cup in October to return to the top of the world rankings and followed that up with a victory in the Dubai Desert Classic on the DP World Tour in January. of this year.
He then finished second in the Arnold Palmer Invitational and third in the WGC Match Play in March.
However, between those two events, he missed out on the PGA Tour’s flagship Players Championship cup. He talked about how spending too much time during this period in meetings on LIV Golf and the future of the US tour period had affected his game.
“They say they embrace wrestling,” he continued. “I’m not saying I fight a lot, I had a chance to win Bay Hill, I had a chance to win Match Play and that was only six weeks ago so it’s not like it was a long term thing.
“It gives you a purpose to go to the lineup and work on things. Sometimes success can bring complacency and having little wake-up calls along the way can be a good thing.”