Rory McIlroy finds positives from Tournament of Champions debut
By Sky Sports Golf
Last Updated: 07/01/19 6:55am
Rory McIlroy feels he can take positives from his start to 2019, despite a disappointing finish at the Sentry Tournament of Champions.
The 29-year-old - making his debut in the winners-only event - played in the final group and was within two of the lead after two birdies in his opening five holes on Sunday, but was unable to build on his fast start.
McIlroy failed to register another birdie as he carded a one-under 72 and ended eight strokes back in a share of fourth, as Xander Schauffele fired a course record-equalling 62 to snatch victory in Hawaii.
"I don't think anyone could have beaten Xander [Schauffele] today!" McIlroy said. "I would have had to have went out there and shot nine under at the time.
"Obviously I could have shot a better score, but I did what I wanted to do; I gave myself plenty of chances, I hit most of the fairways and I hit most of the greens, but just couldn't get the ball to drop.
"Anything that was right-to-left I missed on the high side and anything left-to-right I missed on the low side, so it one of those days where it just didn't happen."
McIlroy has stated on numerous occasions he will focus his playing schedule around the PGA Tour in 2019, with the Northern Irishman pleased to test his game out so early in the year.
"It's nice to get up and running in the calendar year," McIlroy added. "It was nice to get a start in this early and see where my game's at and definitely something to build and improve on.
"There's four weeks of the year you really want to play well, but there's obviously other weeks of the year you want to play well too and it's just about building towards the bulk of the season.
"I'm going to go home and sort of reflect on this week and reflect on what was good and what maybe wasn't so good. I can work on a few things and come back out having learned a little more about my game than I knew coming into this week."