And the Northern Irishman admitted he found it hard to come to terms with the closing 74 that dropped him from second into a tie for fifth place.
He explained: “When I got back home I sort of threw the clubs in a closet and I spent about a week decompressing and trying to get over it.
“But it got to the point where Erica had to drag me out of the house. She just said we’re going to go out and do something. And once I got back into my routine, I was fine.
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“Before, there were a few quiet moments when you catch yourself thinking back on the round, even though I was trying to immerse myself in anything but golf.
“I was watching box sets of Billions and stuff, and I read a couple of good books — The Chimp Paradox and Essentialism — but my mind did wander back to it.
“My game wasn’t quite there. I was just trying to hold it together and when it came to the pressure of trying to chase Patrick down it just didn’t click for me.”
But the four-time Major champion insisted he was not as distraught as when he blew a four-shot lead with a final-round 80 at the 2011 Masters.
He added “It was nowhere near as disappointing as the experience I had there a few years ago. So it was much easier to get over.
“And look, I got myself into the final group. That will make it that much easier next year when I hopefully put myself back in the same position.
“For me, The Masters has become the biggest golf tournament in the world and, with all due respect to The Open, the US Open and the USPGA I’m comfortable saying that.
“Even without the Grand Slam I would want to win there because it’s the most special tournament we play.”
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McIlroy will turn 29 tomorrow and hopes to celebrate a couple of days later with a third victory at the Wells Fargo Championship.
This week’s venue, Quail Hollow in South Carolina, is one of his favourite tracks — he holds the course record with a 61.
He added: “Thankfully, I’m back at the point where I’m excited about what’s coming up rather than looking back.”