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Rory McIlroy has spoken publicly for the first time since missing the cut at The Masters last month.

The four-time major champion spoke to the Golf Channel’s Todd Lewis at Quail Hollow Golf Club ahead of this week’s Wells Fargo Championship

It marks McIlroy’s first appearance since his disappointing – and surprising – early exit from the opening men’s major of the year.

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McIlroy, 34, had been heavily tipped to finally win the Green Jacket this year and become only the sixth player to complete the career grand slam.

Instead, he carded rounds of 72 and 77 to miss the cut for only the third time in 15 Masters starts.

He declined to speak to reporters afterwards and courted controversy just hours later when he withdrew from the following week’s RBC Heritage – the second time this season that he has missed one of the PGA Tour’s designated events.

Unusually, McIlroy’s name was not listed amongst the pre-tournament press conferences for this week’s event but, in a brief chat with Lewis, he explained why he has gone off the radar since his early exit from The Masters.

“I needed a break for me,” he said. “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.

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“I think I’m in a better headspace than I was. That run-up to Augusta is always a stressful enough couple of weeks of trying to make 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 had to realise that there’s still three more majors this year, there’s a ton left to play for.”

McIlroy has US Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick and former world No.1 Jason Day for company in the opening two rounds this week.

author headshot

Michael McEwan is the Deputy Editor of bunkered and has been part of the team since 2004. In that time, he has interviewed almost every major figure within the sport, from Jack Nicklaus, to Rory McIlroy, to Donald Trump. The host of the multi award-winning bunkered Podcast and a member of Balfron Golfing Society, Michael is the author of three books and is the 2023 PPA Scotland 'Writer of the Year' and 'Columnist of the Year'. Dislikes white belts, yellow balls and iron headcovers. Likes being drawn out of the media ballot to play Augusta National.

Deputy Editor

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