CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Every golfer has had his share of tough losses or defeats, but Rory McIlroy said bouncing back from his Sunday showing at the Masters was a difficult task.
Playing in the final group with eventual champion Patrick Reed, McIlroy could manage just a 2-over-par 74 and was not a factor on the back nine as he faded to a fifth-place tie.
"I went back home and sort of decompressed, binge-watched a couple of shows, read a couple of books, drank a few bottles of wine -- no, I don't mean it like that; that sounds really bad," McIlroy said. "It wasn't that bad."
McIlroy said it took him about a week to start getting over it.
"It got to the point where [wife] Erica had to drag me out of the house and say, 'OK, we're going to go do something,' he said. "And once I sort of got back into my routine, I was fine. I was disappointed because I just didn't give a good account of myself the last day. I felt I got luck on Saturday; that 65 was as good as I could have played. ... I was sort of holding it together.
"And then, obviously, under the pressure of Sunday, trying to chase Patrick down, it just never quite clicked for me. So it was disappointing that's the way the week finished, but it was nowhere near a disappointing as the experience I had there a few years ago. At least I got myself in the final group, I gave myself a chance and that will ultimately make next year easier when I hopefully get myself back in that position.''
McIlroy, who turns 29 on Friday, was referring to his blown 54-hole lead at the Masters in 2011, when he shot a final-round 80 and finished 15th.
He went on to win the U.S. Open that year, the PGA Championship in 2012 and the Open Championship and PGA in 2014.
That put him in position to complete the career Grand Slam at the Masters, and he has four top-10s in four attempts -- but none as good of an opportunity as he had this year.
When he knocked his approach to 5-feet at the par-5 second during the final round, McIlroy had a chance to tie Reed for the lead with the eagle putt.
He missed, and never got that close again, ending with a final-round score that was better than just four others.
This week, McIlroy is playing his first event since the Masters at a place where he has won twice, including 2015. Ranked seventh in the world, he will play the first two rounds with Paul Casey and James Hahn and begins at 7:30 a.m. ET on Thursday.
As for the pressure of the career Grand Slam, McIlroy put it down to the Masters itself.
"The Masters has become the biggest golf tournament in the world, and I'm comfortable saying that,'' he said. "I don't care about the U.S. Open or the Open Championship, it is the biggest tournament in the world. It is the most amount of eyeballs, the most amount of hype. The most amount of everything is at Augusta."