GOLF NEWS - Rory McIlroy put memories of a flat final-round performance at the Masters earlier this year firmly behind him with a battling last round at the British Open on Sunday as he posted a one-under-par 70 to finish six-under overall.
The 29-year-old's bid to add a fifth major, four years on from his last, may have fallen just short but a return to the daring and carefree style of his younger days seems to have paid off.
Rather than going into his shell as he did in the final pairing with eventual champion Patrick Reed at Augusta this year, he didn't let a frustrating front nine at Carnoustie - including two bogeys in the first five holes - crush his spirit.
A look of astonishment crossed his always expressive face when he dropped a shot at the fifth, and it was little wonder as the ball went round the lip but refused to drop.
He entered the turn for home in better spirits after holing a massive birdie putt at the ninth to move to four-under, winking at American playing partner Matt Kuchar as he went to pick the ball from the hole.
Another birdie came on the 11th, the 2014 Open champion pumping his fist in celebration.
By the 12th he was wiping his brow in consternation at dropping a shot, but then came a moment when he at last showed some spark.
An eagle on the 14th with a monster putt had the Northern Irishman jumping up into the air, a broad smile spreading across his face.
The fist was pumping again at the penultimate hole, though this time it was with relief at saving par after he had left himself a tricky putt having found a bunker prior to that.
However, a rueful look swept his face when he put his second shot at the 18th too far from the hole to convert the birdie opportunity that followed. And with that he probably knew that his opportunity to win the Claret Jug for a second time had gone too.