Rory McIlroy says he gets a lot of positives from his joint seventh place finish at the US Open, even though he missed the chance to get a fifth major success at Torrey Pines.
A bogey in the 11th par-three and a double bogey in the 12th curbed his challenge and he finished one under par, five behind winner Jon Rahm.
“Overall, it’s been a positive week,” McIlroy said after his last round.
“I played well. I felt comfortable. I gave myself a big chance.”
The Northern Irishman was looking to win his first major since the 2014 US PGA Championship and a second US Open title 10 years after his first.
McIlroy started two strokes ahead and was well in contention halfway through his round, but those three abandoned shots in two holes hurt his chances as he scored a closing 73.
The 32-year-old birdied in the 13th par-five and bogeyed in the 16th par-three, but nothing was the same after he started to fade back.
“Once I made those little mistakes on 11 and 12 I just kept going a little bit and in the end I couldn’t do anything from there,” added McIlroy.
“The three putts on 11, that kind of stoppage on the swing, and then I was a little bit unlucky on 12. Take those two holes out, the rest of the week has been really good.”
It wasn’t the major victory he hoped for, but McIlroy was happy with a third consecutive top 10 at the US Open.
“I feel close. It’s the first time in a long time,” he added. “The way I hit the tee off the ball to the green, I just felt a lot more in control of everything than the previous few times I was in this position.
I have to draw the positive points from this week. Yes, it’s disappointing that you had a chance and didn’t get the job done, but considering where I’ve been in the past few majors, it’s a big step in the right direction. “