Rory McIlroy blames fatigue after he crashes out of WGC Match Play

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• Northern Irishman says he is mentally tired after Bay Hill win
• World No 7 excited by chance of major grand slam at Masters

Rory McIlroy cited fatigue associated with last weekend’s long-awaited success at the Arnold Palmer Invitational after his WGC Match Play involvement ended at the group stage. McIlroy’s 5&3 defeat by the inspired Brian Harman was to prove the Northern Irishman’s last competitive outing until the Masters.

McIlroy had displayed traces of tiredness earlier in the week at Austin Country Club. Such a feeling was perhaps inevitable; the 28-year-old’s eye-catching triumph at Bay Hill on Sunday was his first in 18 months. Still, a McIlroy win over Harman would have set up a play-off to reach the last 16. Harman’s lead of 3up at the turn was to prove insurmountable to McIlroy, who will head to Augusta next midweek to continue with Masters preparations.

Related: Stunning round sees Rory McIlroy claim Arnold Palmer Invitational title

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from Golf | The Guardian
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