Rory McIlroy’s 2011 Masters Failure Changed His Golf Career Forever: ‘I Thought to Win, I Needed to Be Like Tiger’

Rory Mcllroy is the world’s top golfer. But the outstanding athlete had a significant failure in the 2011 Masters, which affected his golf career significantly. McIlroy had the upper hand at the tournament at the young age of 21 and attaining his first major title.

Before the final round on Sunday, he was leading by four points. McIlroy managed to play flawlessly through all 63 holes, but he couldn’t retain a leading position through holes 10-12. The tables turned on McIlroy, and he managed only to shoot an 8-over-par 80. Fortunately, he learned a big lesson from the experience.

Rory McIlroy’s parents’ reaction to his 2011 Masters loss

Rory McIlroy reacts during the 2011 Masters Tournament
Rory McIlroy at the 2011 Masters Tournament | Tim Dominick/The State/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

McIlroy comes from a very humble background in Hollywood, Northern Ireland. His parents, Gerry and Rosie, have been supportive throughout his golf career. The couple had to work long hours and multiple jobs to pay for the costs involved with McIlroy’s fledgling golf career.

During the 2011 Masters, Rosie was devastated by McIlroy’s failure; she couldn’t watch the golf competition. Gerry had to travel to McIlroy’s home to watch the championship there because Rosie was too stressed. After the competition ended, McIlroy did not communicate with his parents that day.

The day after the competition, McIlroy contacted his parents. Gerry had an assurance voice and comforted him to try his luck in another competition. After McIlroy talked to his mother, he broke down. “I didn’t speak to him until the following day. He rang me in the afternoon. I was more upset than he was, I think,” Rosie commented in a Belfast Telegraph

McIlroy comments about his failure on the 2011 Masters

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McIlroy openly admits that he was trying to emulate Tiger Woods during the finals, a fact that contributed to his failure, according to Forbes. ”On the last day, I was trying to be someone else that l wasn’t. I was almost trying to be like Tiger Woods.” McIlroy explained while speaking on the Whoop podcast.

During the last day of the 2011 Masters, McIlroy tried to be hyper-focused and focus on the ball without talking to anyone. However, the mindset change led to the failure of the much anticipated 2011 Masters. McIlroy enjoys playing in a friendly environment where he is not too serious and is relaxed.

 It was speculated that he would grab the title and probably inherit Tiger’s throne, but he failed to achieve that. Although the  Augusta competition was a mess, he managed to recover and get back on his trails. In the tournaments following the 2011 Masters, he managed to recover his position.

Rory McIlroy recovers from the 2011 Masters

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Two months after the failure in Augusta, McIlroy attained a major victory in the U.S. Open. He had to identify some of the main things attributed to the Augusta golf competition’s failure and avoid them.  Before starting the U.S. Open, he watched one of his favorite films, The Dark Knight.  The film enabled him to relax and stop overthinking about the upcoming match.

Despite the 2011 Masters failure, McIlroy has managed to be one of the greatest golfers in the world. He is currently on the European Tour and PGA tour.  Over the years, he has managed to attain 18 wins in the PGA and 14 wins in the European tour. He was managed to win the Masters tournament in 2015, Open Championship in 2015, and U.S. Open in 2011.

Some other significant wins include winning the 2019 FedEx Cup, beating Brooks Koepka in a tour championship. However, in Memphis, Koepka defeated McIlroy in the final group.