FORMER world No1 Rory McIlroy believes he is over his year-long slump after claiming a first win of 2013 in dramatic fashion at the Australian Open yesterday.
A birdie at the 18th saw the Northern Irishman overtake overnight leader and world No2 Adam Scott as the home favourite bogeyed the last.
McIlroy’s final round of 66 included an eagle at the par-five seventh and followed three top-six finishes in his previous four events.
“Since the end of September I have just felt in a better place mentally,” said the 24-year-old.
“Everything has been coming together the way I wanted. It has been a frustrating year, but I have worked hard. It has been a process, getting back to winning golf tournaments again.
“I wanted to get a win and finally I’ve been able to. More satisfying than that is being able to take one of the best players in the world down the stretch and come out on top.”
McIlroy, who won a second Major and topped both the European and US money lists in a glittering 2012, has struggled for form in a year littered with off-course distractions.
But he held his nerve when Scott’s deserted him, the 33-year-old’s late collapse wrecking his bid to become only the second man to achieve the triple crown of Australian golf – the Australian Masters, PGA and Open in the same year.
McIlroy added: “I feel a bit sorry that I was the one that ruined the triple crown for him.”