Rory McIlroy not haunted by 2011 Masters collapse

Rory McIlroy in action during the third day of the PGA Championship on August 10, 2013
© Getty Images
Rory McIlroy insists that he is not haunted by the memories of his 2011 Masters meltdown as he heads to Augusta this week as the favourite to win the green jacket.

Rory McIlroy has insisted that he is no longer tormented by his 2011 Masters meltdown ahead of his return to Augusta as tournament favourite this week.

With Tiger Woods absent through injury, the Irishman is the 10-1 frontrunner with leading bookmaker Paddy Power to win the first Major of the year.

He has been in a position of expectation at the Masters before, though, throwing away a four-shot lead on the final round three years ago and eventually carding an eight-over-par 80 to finish way back.

However, rather than let those memories haunt him, 24-year-old McIlroy has stressed that he has learned from them and without that painful experience, he may not have won either of his two Major titles to date - the 2011 US Open and 2012 USPGA Championship.

"I have no ill feelings towards 2011," he told reporters. "It was a very important day in my career. It was a big learning curve.

"I don't know if I had not had that day, whether I would be the person and the player I am sitting here. I learned exactly what not to do under pressure and contention and definitely learned how to handle my emotions better on the course."

McIlroy prepared for the Masters by finishing seventh at the Houston Open last week.

A detailed shot of the pin flag on the 18th green during the second round of the 2013 Masters at the Augusta National Golf Club on April 12, 2013
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