Over the next few years, Rory McIlroy has a chance to equal something Tiger Woods did at Augusta in the late 2000s. Woods posted top-10 finishes in seven straight years from 2005 to 2011, and McIlroy just touched off his fifth in a row a few weeks ago when he finished six shots behind Patrick Reed.

The Ulsterman, though, would of course trade them all for a single jacket.

He came up empty on that front once again this year at Augusta National. Still, he said this week that his takeaways from a disappointing 74 on Sunday at the 2018 Masters were actually good overall. McIlroy was one of just three golfers inside the top 20 to shoot over par in the final round, and yet he still finished inside the top five. 

"I view Augusta as a very positive week,"McIlroy told reporters. "I put myself in position to win another major. It didn't quite happen for me. The long list of positives far outweigh the negatives."

In a separate interview, McIlroy said he just didn't have the goods on Sunday and was actually pretty nervous at the first tee. The evidence came seconds after his name was announced in the final pairing when he blew his first tee ball well right into the woods. In the micro, McIlroy seemed mildly surprised that he had some nerves, but in the macro he remains unconcerned about if or when he'll crack the Augusta code. With good reason. He turns just 29 next month.

"Look, it'll happen. I truly believe it'll happen," McIlroy added to CNN about winning the Masters. "I play that golf course well enough. I've five top 10s in a row, I've given myself a chance. It didn't quite work out. But just, the more I keep putting myself in those positions, sooner or later it is going to happen for me."

McIlroy also noted that he wasn't disappointed that he didn't win, but rather that he didn't pressure Reed into making any kind of mistakes. As for the rest of this year, McIlroy thinks he can add to his four-major total and maybe make it five (or six?)

"My game is obviously in great shape," McIlroy said. "I've won this year and given myself a chance at the first major. There's no reason I can't go to the other three and give myself three more chances. If I do that, I feel like I'll hopefully add to that tally."

McIlroy played an exhibition match with Paul McGinley, Shane Lowry and Padraig Harrington at Adare Manor this weekend to kick off its grand opening in Ireland.