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Will Rory McIlroy’s sensational final round at Augusta inspire him for the PGA Championship?

You only needed to see Rory McIlroy’s celebration on the 18th green, or rather the bunker on the 18th green, to understand how much the Masters means to the Northern Irishman.

McIlroy had shot a stunning round, and finished it off with a sensational chip from the sand trap on the 18th, the ball curling round beautifully before nestling into the cup.

A score of 64 represented McIlroy’s best ever round at Augusta National, and was enough to earn him a second-place finish, although champion Scottie Scheffler was still some way ahead of him.

Nonetheless, that performance will have buoyed McIlroy, and given him the belief that he deserves his place high up in the online betting odds.

Although McIlroy failed to deliver a similar level of performance in the opening three rounds, the nature of his performance on Masters Sunday at Augusta will be enough to give him a huge boost of confidence.

Playing well on those hallowed greens in Georgia is a feeling that is hard to replicate throughout the world, and although McIlroy is still yet to get his hands on the famous green jacket, he’ll be in a good place with three more majors still to come this year.

The next big occasion is the PGA Championship later this month, which this year takes place at the Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

The world’s best will be converging once again in the hopes of tasting major championship glory, and McIlroy will be chasing that elusive fifth major title.

Over the last few years, it has felt as though the pressure associated with performing at the majors has been too much for McIlroy to bear.

He has often performed poorly in the opening two rounds, before finding his form on Saturday and Sunday when the pressure has lessened.

This was certainly the case at the recent Masters, where after carding three decent rounds, McIlroy suddenly produced his brilliant best on day four.

But such was the thrilling nature of that Sunday performance at Augusta, it could give the Northern Irishman a lot of belief that he can go all the way at a major and get his hands on that fifth career title.

The cloud has hung over him since triumphing at the 2014 PGA Championship, and the longer McIlroy has gone without winning a major, the heavier the millstone has weighed around his neck.

To see his celebrations on the 18th green at Augusta after that sensational chip from the bunker was to see a man who had suddenly fallen back in love with golf.

If McIlroy can harness that feeling and bring a positive mindset to Southern Hills, he’ll have every chance of producing some carefree golf and putting himself in contention come Sunday.

There are few more popular players on the PGA Tour than McIlroy, and although the pressure has weighed heavily on his shoulders at times, his brilliance at Augusta could just be the catalyst needed to loosen the shackles a little bit.

Indeed, that could be the key to finally landing that fifth major title.

Featured image credit: TourProGolfClubs via Wikimedia Commons under CC BY 2.0 license

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