Rory McIlroy has had the eyes of the golfing world on him on a Sunday at the Masters before.

Back in 2011 the then 21-year-old blew a four-shot final-round lead at Augusta National.

Entering the final-round three shots back of Patrick Reed and in contention for the first time since that meltdown seven years ago, he was determined to make amends this time around.

It was not to be, as McIlroy slipped away over the course of 18 punishing Augusta holes:


Hole #1 | Tea Olive | Par Four

The weight of joining golf’s elite on his shoulders, the pressure McIlroy was under on the first tee cannot be overestimated. But under pressure is usually where he thrives – not for his first shot. McIlroy’s opening tee-shot was wayward, and then some. It started right and it never came back. He was lucky to stay in bounds, and even luckier to find he had a clear line through the trees.

From there, McIlroy found the bunker alongside the man he was chasing, Reed. He got up and down for par and Reed did not. The deficit was now just two.

1. P. Reed (-13)
2. R. McIlroy (-11)

Hole #2 | Pink Dogwood | Par Five

And on just the second hole on Sunday, McIlroy set the competition alight. His drive was the antithesis of the one on the preceding hole and his approach, from 197 yards, was to four-feet.

An eagle should have followed but McIlroy let it slip past the right edge. Reed found the front bunker with his approach and could only muster a second consecutive five. That meant that Reed’s initial three-shot lead was now just one.

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1. P. Reed (-13)
2. R. McIlroy (-12)

Hole #3 | Flowering Peach | Par Four

McIlroy’s drive on three was A1, again; his approach was not. It left a tricky up-and-down up the bank off the front of the green. His chip was about as good as he could have hoped, leaving 10-feet-or-so for a par, but he could not salvage par. As Reed made his opening birdie of the round, the lead was back to three in the blink of an eye.

1. P. Reed (-14)
2. R. McIlroy (-11)

Hole #4 | Flowering Crab Apple | Par Three

How better to recover than a birdie to follow? A seven-iron to four-feet off the tee set up a simple tap-in birdie to put the pressure back on his playing partner.

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1. P. Reed (-14)
2. R. McIlroy (-12)

Hole #5 | Magnolia | Par Four

Onto the next and after two shots McIlroy found himself short of the green with the pin at the back. His chip set up a five-foot par-save but it was not to be and for the second-time in the round he gave a shot back to the course. Reed did not and we were back to square one. Again.

1. P. Reed (-14)
2. R. McIlroy (-11)

Hole #6 | Juniper | Par Three

On the seventh par-three of the day it was a seven-iron again for McIlroy but the result was quite the contrary. An evident mis-hit from the Northern Irishman left him with over 50 foot and a mountainous slope ahead of him.

This time he could salvage par and Reed, from a similar position, could not.

1. P. Reed (-13)
2. R. McIlroy (-11)

Hole #7 | Pampas | Par Four

Reed played the seventh nothing short of superbly to bounce back with a birdie. So after McIlroy’s drive limited his approached he had to call on his ingenuity to punch and chip out of the rough to split the two green-front bunkers and save par.

1. P. Reed (-14)
2. R. McIlroy (-11)

Hole #8 | Yellow Jasmine | Par Five

Yet another wayward McIlroy drive on the eighth, where he would have hoped to take advantage of the par-five, punished the 28-year-old as he went over par for the round for the first time.

McIlroy chipping out from the trees meant that a four-shot up-and-down from over 200 yards would result in a bogey and a fall to four shots off the lead.

1. P. Reed (-14)
2. R. McIlroy (-10)

Hole #9 | Carolina Cherry | Par Four

And when McIlroy outplayed Reed from tee-to-green on the ninth he might have thought he could gain a shot back. He set-up a five-foot birdie attempt, that he would miss. He made the turn four shots back.

1. P. Reed (-14)
2. R. McIlroy (-10)

Hole #10 | Camellia | Par Four

Not much to write home about on the 10th. Two fairly standard, green-in-regulation pars for both McIlroy and Reed. By now, though, the former had been caught by Rickie Fowler and Jon Rahm and overtaken by Jordan Spieth.

1. P. Reed (-14)
2. J. Spieth (-12)
T3. R. McIlroy, J. Rahm, R. Fowler (-10)

Hole #11 | White Dogwood | Par Four

By the 11th it really began to look as though it wasn’t going to be McIlroy’s day. His drive was A1; his approach was E5 (missing the green right) – and that’s being kind. It would be a fourth bogey of the round, Reed carded a bogey of his own and by now Fowler and Rahm had made spaces between McIlroy and the leader.

1. P. Reed (-13)
2. J. Spieth (-12)
3. R. Fowler (-11)
4. J. Rahm (-10)
T5. R. McIlroy, D. Johnson (-9)

Hole #12 | Golden Ball | Par Three

Any hope McIlroy was still hanging onto was probably lost on the par-three 12th. His tee-shot matched that of Reed. But he took two putts to Reed’s one and he was now five off the front.

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1. P. Reed (-14)
2. J. Spieth (-13)
3. R. Fowler (-11)
4. J. Rahm (-10)
5. R. McIlroy (-9)

Hole #13 | Azalea | Par Five

McIlroy did set up an eagle chance on the 13th; in the fashion of his entire Sunday, he missed it. A birdie got him back to double figures under par but with Reed holding strong, and Spieth making a valiant final push. It was too little, too late.

T1. P. Reed, J. Spieth (-14)
T3. J. Rahm, R. Fowler (-12)
5. R. McIlroy (-10)

Hole #14 | Chinese Fir | Par Four

A solid drive. A solid approach. Then a three-putt.

A McIlroy bogey. a Reed birdie. Now a six-shot gap.

1. P. Reed (-15)
2. J. Spieth (-14)
T3. R. Fowler, J. Rahm (-12)
5. R. McIlroy (-9)

Hole #15 | Firethorn | Par Five

Both McIlroy and Reed blocked themselves out of making the green in two at the par-five 15th so settled with three and made pars apiece. Meanwhile, Spieth finished his final-round with a bogey to give Reed a fragment of breathing space.

1. P. Reed (-15)
T2. J. Spieth, R. Fowler (-13)
4. J. Rahm (-11)
T5. R. McIlroy, B. Watson, C. Smith (-9)

Hole #16 | Redbud | Par Three

The wheels had come off for McIlroy and he put a tame approach into the 16th and made a comfortable – and uninspiring – par.

1. P. Reed (-15)
T2. J. Spieth, R. Fowler (-13)
4. J. Rahm (-11)
T5. R. McIlroy, B. Watson, C. Smith (-9)

Hole #17 | Nandina | Par Four

[See hole #16]

1. P. Reed (-15)
2. R. Fowler (-14)
3. J. Spieth (-13)
4. J. Rahm (-11)
5. R, McIlroy, B. Watson, C. Smith, H. Stenson (-9)

Hole #18 | Holly | Par Four

McIlroy could not even sign off on a high. His drive was like-for-like with Reed’s, hugging the left-hand side of the fairway. But his approach was lacklustre and missed the front-left of the green. An up-and-down meant a par to close out an excruciating 74 at Augusta.

It was another painful Sunday in Georgia for McIlroy as he let another chance at the career Grand Slam pass by.

He stood aside, and watched Reed take two putts for his first major, and first Masters, title.

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