Sunday, March 20, 2016

Rory McIlroy admits to mental block in his game

Rory McIlroy closed the Arnold Palmer Invitational with a bright spot. He sank a 59-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole at Bay Hill to put up a final-round, 7-under 65. In the end, he almost back-doored a top-25 finish, ending up tied for 27th place.

However, McIlroy knows he had a very sloppy week. For as many good holes he had, McIlroy derailed his week with six double bogeys, including three on Saturday alone. If he is to complete the career Grand Slam at the Masters in three weeks, McIlroy knows he'll have to play more consistently.

"It's been the story of the week and sort of been the story of my year, as well," McIlroy said after the round. "I've played some great golf and not great golf. I've made a lot of mistakes."

The good news for McIlroy is that this is the first Sunday in his last four PGA Tour events that he didn't play inadequate golf. He closed at Riviera with 75, falling quickly out of contention. He missed the cut at The Honda Classic, so he had Sunday off. At Doral, he carried a 54-hole lead, but safe golf in the final round gave him few legitimate birdie chances and left him in third behind Adam Scott.

At this point, McIlroy acknowledges the mistakes are caused by his attitude.

"I know it's nothing to do with my game, really. It's nothing to do with me technically; it's more mental," he said. "I'm beating myself up over mistakes that I'm making on the course and then I'm not letting myself get over it, so that it sort of lingers there for the next few holes."

Ryan Ballengee is a Yahoo Sports contributor. Find him on Facebook and Twitter.

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