Rory McIlroy 'building up' bank of Masters memories in Green Jacket quest

Rory McIlroy has been re-energised in his quest to become just the sixth player to complete a career green slam after producing “one of the best major rounds” in his career.

The Northern Irishman was at his majestic best as he closed with an eight-under 64 - the only bogey-free round of the four days - to finish runner-up to Scottie Scheffler in the 86th Masters.

McIlroy has been trying since 2015 to add the missing link in his major career but, after his best finish in 14 appearances at Augusta National, he is quietly confident that his time will come.

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“Yeah, I think just all these memories that are building up,” he said. “I think I've had some really good Sundays here.

Rory McIlroy reacts after holing a bunker shot on the 72nd hole in the 86th Masters at Augusta National Golf Club. Picture: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images.

“The 66 I shot with Tiger [Woods] in the final group in 2015 while I've had a few other rounds where I haven't been quite in contention and shot good scores.

“I've played good enough around here, maybe just haven't strung four rounds together like that, but I've always known that I have the game to win at this place.”

McIlroy holed an outrageous bunker shot at the last before watching playing partner Collin Morikawa do likewise as they were round in a combined 13-under.

“I thought if I could shoot 63 today, it would give me a chance,” said McIlroy. “That was sort of my number today. I didn't quite get there, but I gave it a good shot.

“I've had the lead on the back nine here and haven't been able to get it done. I just wanted to try and put a little bit of pressure on and I feel like I did that.

“It's probably one of the best rounds I've had in a major championship and it sets me up for the rest of the year. I feel like my game has been sort of quietly pretty good without the results to really show for it.”

McIlroy will be heading for St Andrews in July to try and win The Open for a second time, having missed the event’s last staging there in 2015 after injuring himself in a football kickabout with his mates.

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