Rory McIlroy has revealed that he felt like he needed a break from golf in the aftermath of his disappointing performance at the Masters.
Rahm backed up his early 2023 form to claim the Green Jacket for his second major, but the wait for McIlroy's fifth and the Grand Slam went on as he missed the cut.
The Northern Irishman could only post rounds of 72 and 77, leaving him to miss out on the weekend by two shots, and the 33-year-old took the decision to hold no post-round interviews.
McIlroy also made the call to miss the RBC Heritage the following week, one of the PGA Tour's designated events that the top players are obliged to attend if they wish to maximise the prize pool that they can compete for at the end of the season.
Instead, McIlroy opted for rest and time at home, something that he felt was required after the frustration of the Masters and upcoming busy schedule.
Speaking to the Golf Channel ahead of the Wells Fargo Championship, the stage of his first PGA Tour victory, McIlroy said: "I needed a break for me. Obviously, after the disappointment of Augusta, and it's been a pretty taxing 12 months mentally, so it was nice to just try to disconnect and get away from it. But it's nice to come back and feel refreshed.
"I think I'm in a better headspace than I was. That run-up to Augusta is always a stressful enough couple of weeks trying making sure everything's in the right order and making sure your game's in good shape.
"I think for me it was a nice reset because I still had to realise that there's three more majors this year, there's a ton left to play for."
Heading into Augusta, McIlroy had played five PGA Tour events in eight weeks, finishing second at the Arnold Palmer Invitational before earning third spot at the WGC - Dell Technologies Match Play.
McIlroy used the following week for extra practice time at Augusta, something which ultimately did not pay off as he missed the cut for the second successive time in standard 72-hole events, the other occasion coming at the Players Championship.
However, Quail Hollow is the location of some of his best memories on the PGA Tour with three tournament victories and a fifth-placed finish 12 months ago.