Rory McIlroy admits he just couldn’t find his form on the final day of the Masters after his challenge faded away in Augusta.
McIlroy was lying in second spot behind overnight leader Patrick Reed heading into the fourth day after a superb 65 in the third round put him firmly in contention.
But the Northern Irishman struggled on the last leg of the tournament after shooting a two-over 74, which saw him finish in joint fifth spot – six shots behind winner Reed.
It scuppered McIlroy’s hopes of a grand slam of major titles, although he was encouraged by his best performance at a major since 2015.
“I played probably some of the best golf I’ve ever played here, it just wasn’t meant to be,” said McIlroy.
“Of course it’s frustrating and it’s hard to take any positives from it right now but at least I put myself in a position, that’s all I’ve wanted to do.
“For the last four years I’ve had top 10s but I haven’t been close enough to the lead. Today I got myself there, I didn’t quite do enough but I’ll still come back next year and try again. I’m 100 per cent sure I can come back and win here.
“I’ve played in two final groups in the last seven years, I’ve had five top 10s, I play this golf course well. I just haven’t played it well enough at the right times. But I’ll sit down and reflect over the next few days and see what I could have done better.
“Whether it be mindset or whatever, I just didn’t quite have it today. I played some great golf, but I just didn’t continue that into today.”