Rory McIlroy admits that last year’s 10th hole nightmare drove him to distraction and led to another Masters meltdown.
The Ulsterman’s determination to eliminate the dangerous pull-hook from his game backfired totally at Augusta as he lost his ability to hit the high draw.
McIlroy said: “I was more uncomfortable off the tee than I have been just because I struggled to hit the draw as much I’m used to.
“That’s something I worked in the off season - to try and eliminate that right to left shot. Maybe I could have worked on it a little bit more.”
Insisting he’s got plenty of time to fix it before next year’s Masters, he said: “I’ve got 12 months. That’s a long time. If you take last year to now, a lot’s happened.
“Obviously you hope you’re coming in here to do a lot better. I’ll just go to San Francisco and try to get another major at the US Open.”
Fearing the hook that cost him a triple bogey at the 10th after a visit to the cabins last year, McIlroy crashed to a third round 77 after starting the day just a shot off the lead.
He then slumped to a closed 76 to tie for 40th with Tiger Woods - 15 shots behind Bubba Watson - barely acknowledging the roars of his fans.
Pushed drives into the trees cost him at least three double bogey sixes - two at the first hole and another at the seventh.
Of the 62 players who made the cut, he was a lowly 50th for driving accuracy as he hit just four fairways more than a wild Tiger Woods.
His putting was also suspect as he three-putted six times to be ranked 41st on the greens.
Licking his wounds, McIlroy jetted off to Denmark yesterday to reflect on his latest Masters mishap in the arms of girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki.
The Ulsterman was re-united with the Dane in Copenhagen and plans to take three weeks off to reflect on what went wrong at Augusta.
He will return to the PGA Tour for the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow and The Players at Sawgrass and skip the Volvo World Match Play before heading to Wentworth for the BMW PGA.
He will then warm up for his US Open defence with an appearance alongside Darren Clarke in The Memorial before heading home for the Irish Open at Royal Portrush.