Sydney: Rory McIlroy buried his 2013 title drought in the most dramatic fashion at the Australian Open on Sunday and said he thought a largely frustrating season might just make him a more complete player.
The Northern Irishman had a brilliant 2012 but a change of equipment and some off-course legal distractions coincided with a slump in form that saw him slide from number one in the world down to number six.
On Sunday, though, the 24-year-old re-entered the winners` circle when he birdied the 18th hole to snatch the title away from U.S. Masters champion and home favourite Adam Scott with the final stroke of the tournament.
"I think I`m more experienced, more patient," he said when asked what he had learnt this year.
"Not getting as down on myself or not being as hard on myself because golf is a long career and you can`t have too many highs and lows in terms of emotions.
"You`ve just got to try and keep it on an even keel and I feel like I`ve done a better job of that this year as the months have gone past.
"You know you have to go through the lows," he added. "And I`m not saying it was a low this year, it`s not like I plummeted off the face of the earth.
"I`m still sixth in the world so it`s not too bad. It`s not the level that I feel like I can play to but I feel I`m getting back there, so it`s very pleasing."
McIlroy admitted to a little guilt at the manner of his victory, which came when Scott bogeyed the last to give up a one-shot lead in a tournament he had dominated.