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McIlroy confident of career Grand Slam after fading at Augusta

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Masters final leaderboard
-15 P Reed (US); -14 R Fowler (US); -13 J Spieth (US); -11 J Rahm (Sp); -9 C Smith (Aus), B Watson (US), H Stenson (Swe), R McIlroy (NI); -8 M Leishman (Aus); -7 T Finau (US), D Johnson (US)
Selected others: -5 P Casey (Eng); -4 TFleetwood (Eng), J Thomas (US); +1 T Woods(US); +2 P Mickelson (US); +3 M Fitzpatrick (Eng); +4 T Hatton (Eng), I Poulter (Eng)

Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy believes he can win a Masters title and complete his career Grand Slam, despite missing out again on Sunday.

McIlroy began the final round three behind Patrick Reed, but faded to finish six shots back as the American won by one shot from Rickie Fowler.

The 28-year-old, who let slip a four-shot final-day lead at Augusta in 2011, has won golf’s three other majors.

“I just haven’t played it well enough at the right times,” said McIlroy.

“I think 100% I can come back and win here. I’ve played in two final groups in the last seven years, I’ve had five top 10s, I play this golf course well.”

Rory McIlroy on the 18th green at Augusta National

McIlroy won the US Open, the Open and two PGA Championship titles between 2011 and 2014, but the iconic Green Jacket has eluded the former world number one.

“For the last four years I’ve had top 10s but I haven’t been close enough to the lead,” he added.

“(On Sunday) I got myself there, I didn’t quite do enough but I’ll come back next year and try again.

“I played probably some of the best golf I’ve ever played here, it just wasn’t meant to be.

“Of course it’s frustrating and it’s hard to take any positives from it right now, but at least I put myself in a position, that’s all I’ve wanted to do.”

It was a first major victory for 27-year-old Reed, who had also failed to win any tournament since The Barclays in New York in August 2016.

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“One of my huge goals this year was to get back in the winner’s circle and to do that in the first major of the year means so much to me,” said the Texan.

“I knew it was going to be tough, that the lead was going to shrink at times and it could grow and the only way I was going to get that done was to make sure the putter was working.”

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