Rory McIlroy says he is taking plenty of positives from his joint seventh-placed finish at the US Open despite missing the chance to secure a fifth major success at Torrey Pines.
A bogey at the par-three 11th and double bogey at the 12th put the brakes on his challenge and he ended on one under par, five behind winner Jon Rahm.
“Overall, it has been a positive week,” said McIlroy after his final round.
“I played well. I felt comfortable. I gave myself a great chance.”
The Northern Irishman was trying 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 shots off the lead and was well in contention midway through his round, but those three dropped shots in two holes put paid to his chances as he carded a closing 73.
The 32-year-old made a birdie at the par-five 13th and bogey at the par-three 16th but nothing was the same after his early back-nine fade.
“Once I made those little mistakes on 11 and 12, I was just chasing a little bit and then ultimately couldn’t really get anything done from there,” added McIlroy.
“The three-putt on 11, that sort of stopped the momentum, and then I got a little unlucky on 12. Take those two holes out, the rest of the week was really good.”
It wasn’t the major victory he hoped to achieve, but McIlroy was pleased with a third straight top-10 US Open finish.
“I feel close. It’s the first time in a while,” he added. “The way I hit the ball tee to green, I just felt much more in control of everything than the previous few times that I’ve been in this position.
”I have to take the positives from this week. Yes, it’s disappointing that I had a chance and didn’t get the job done, but considering where I’ve been the previous few majors, it’s a big step in the right direction.”