Rory McIlroy finishes on a high but falls short at Quail Hollow

The Holywood golfer shot a final round 66 to cap a frustrating weekend at the Wellls Fargo Championship

Rory McIlroy exhibited some of the form that has seen him dominate Quail Hollow for the last seven years, but a final round 66 was not enough to successfully defend his title at the Wells Fargo Championship.

The Holywood golf had to endure a disappointing opening three rounds, plagued by inconsistency that was none more evident than Saturday's third round: five birdies, four bogeys and a double bogey leaving him eight shots off the pace heading into the final round.

"If you can take away those fives at the start and the end, it was a pretty good scorecard" he told Sky Sports afterwards.

"I played well, I hit a lot of better iron shots, I converted a lot of chances. I did a lot of things right today. They were two soft bogeys at the first and at the 18th. On the last it was just a completely wrong shot selection.

"I was trying to post ten-under par. That was the score in my mind, so I needed to birdie the last couple of holes. It just didn't quite work out for me.

"I've got two big weeks coming up. It's a decent performance, looking back on it two 73s I shot in the first and the third round left me with a little bit too much to do heading into the last."

The feeling was that he had left a number of shots out on the course, a course where last year he shot a course record 61 en route to a 21-under-par victory, and his bogey on the first added to frustrations.

However, McIlroy looked back to his scintillating best yesterday following that bogey with four birdies on the front nine including a 51-foot eagle putt on the seventh.

This, alongside his monster 79 footer on Saturday, were perhaps the highlights of the weekend.

There was to be something palindromic about his final round, another four birdies and a bogey finish meant he would finish the day on six-under-par and seven-under for the weekend.

American James Hahn beat compatriot Roberto Castro in a play-off to snatch victory, two birdies and an eagle on the front nine was enough guide him to the last two.