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McIlroy 'in really good place'

Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy is in great shape going into this week's Masters, according to his assistant coach Dave Stockton.

McIlroy has travelled to Augusta after shooting a seven-under-par 65 in the final round of the Shell Houston Open to claim a share of seventh place behind Matt Jones.

"Every club he has in the bag he is happy with and Rory is in a really good place mind, body and soul," Stockton said.

Stockton believes last year's rally to beat reigning Masters champion Adam Scott at the Australian Open was a key turning point for McIlroy, a strong finish to a year nagged by changing equipment and poor results.

"I look back to that Australian Open win as it was pivotal because not only did it keep alive a streak of Rory having won at least one event a year since 2009 but to end his year with a win was a great lift for him," Stockton said.

"But then I felt bad for him a few weeks ago when he lost out in a playoff for the Honda Classic because I would have liked to have seen him win. And while he lost out he learned from it and he bounced back pretty well.

Pleased

"He's still in a good place and I was pleased he competed in Houston after having three weeks off."

During those three weeks between the Cadillac Championship and Houston, Stockton spent two of those weeks working with McIlroy at the exclusive Bear's Club.

"We had a long practice session on his putting, easily more than two hours, and he was serious," Stockton said.

"So he has put a lot into getting ready for this week and I just want him to enjoy it.

"All I am saying to him now is 'Nice putt, nice putt' and his frame of mind is normally really good. That's still very much the case so he's right there."

Keep up to date with all the action from all four days of the Masters starting at 7.00pm this Thursday on Sky Sports 4