Rory McIlroy has not had the best of preparations as he readies himself for the first major of the year at the Master in Augusta National this week.

The 20-year-old missed the cut at the Shell Houston Open and has admitted that the year thus far has been a struggle.

“I’m hitting it a lot better but still not getting it around the golf course,” said McIlroy after missing the cut.

“It’s a lack of confidence. I’m just not there. It’s such a fine line between playing the way I did at the end of last year to playing the way I am now. It’s a couple of putts holed here and there or a good break. I just can’t find any momentum or something to get me going on the golf course.”

McIlroy has had some back problems since the turn of the year that have hampered his progress, but the world number 11 is hoping that the rush of playing at the hallowed grounds of Augusta National will help raise his game.

“I’m really looking forward to next week and can’t wait to get there. It’s just a shame I couldn’t have prepared a little better this week,” said McIlroy.

“When I went there for three days after Doral it was the happiest I’d felt on the golf course for a while. Hopefully I can get back there again and get a little kick out of it.”

Rory McIlroy