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Golf can be a remarkably cruel sport. Although Rory McIlroy's home town was full of well wishers glued to the set as his performance worsened, they never lost heart, even when his agonizing failure at the Masters became apparent.

At the Holywood Golf Club disappointment was being voiced during McIlroy final round at Agusta.

And it had all begun so promisingly. McIlroy had started the day with an amazing four-shot lead over some of worlds best golfers, but he could not sustain his advantage.

But soon it began to unravel with disastrous shots by the 21-year-old.

Ben Smith, the golf commentator for The Times of London newspaper put McIlroy's 10 hole nightmare like this: "That is where he fell apart. He hadn’t been doing well up to then and had looked nervous from the start."

Stephen Gordon, a 27-year-old professional golfer at Bangor who first encountered Rory when the latter was aged 8, told the Belfast Newsletter:

"We have had glimpses of his brilliance and it will only stand him in good stead." Gordon added that watching Rory is always a tremendously proud moment - we are with him every shot.

Also watching the play in the Holywood member’s bar was Wilbur Walker, a past president of Holywood Golf Club who knew Rory when he first started hitting golf balls aged two, who told the Newsletter: "This is the start of Rory. He is going to be the best player in the world."

But by 11PM before the tournament ended, the mood had darkened at the club and Walker was heading home in disappointment. There's always next year. McIlroy may rise again.