Never mind the Zozo Championship it was more like the yoyo championship for Rory McIlroy. The Los Angeles event that first saw the Northern Irishman snapping a club in fury, finished with him seemingly having fixed so many of the faults in his game, signing off with a 66 for a 15-under total. No doubt the world No 5 wanted more than a top-20 finish from his final prep event for the Masters in less than three weeks’ time, but at least the manner in which he recovered from his ugly opening at Sherwood Country Club provides genuine hope that he can launch a serious challenge to make history in Georgia. After beginning with a one-over 73 - featuring that already infamous wedge-break on the 18th - McIlroy played the next 54 holes in 16-under and although that was not a remarkable enough resurrection to hurtle into contention, the fact that he dramatically reduced the error count will cheer all those rooting for the 31-year-old to become just the sixth player ever to complete the career grand slam. “I felt like I played pretty good the last three days,” McIlroy said. “Game is definitely feeling much better than it did when I headed out here." Certainly, McIlroy is making enough birdies. In all he made 29 over the 72 holes and that haul should obviously have meant him featuring in a climax starring world Nos 2 and 3 Jon Rahm and Justin Thomas in another Tinseltown spectacular. McIlroy knows that all he requires is to piece four solid rounds together to be a factor in the season’s final major. “I made 15 birdies after the first two days and hey I was not even in the top 40 of 78-man field - so I was pretty proud of that,” he said with a sarcastic laugh. “It would have been nice to make a birdie on the last today, as that would have been 30. But I made 29, which is more than enough to win, I just need to cut out the mistakes. I kept saying to Harry [Diamond, his caddie] every time I made one, ’23’ then ’24’ then ’25’… And Harry replied ‘that's not a good thing you're 20th in the tournament and you’ve made so many birdies’. Just a running joke for the week. “But, you know, if I can keep making that many birdies every tournament, sooner or later I'm going to get rid of the bad stuff and I'm going to be right there. This is my last event before the Masters and Augusta will be my last tournament of the year. I’ll take a few months off after that.” At the Italian Open, Ross McGowan, the world No 560, ended a wait of 11 years and 15 days to claim his second European Tour title. The 38-year-old from Essex holed a 20-footer for a birdie on the final hole of Chervò Golf Club in Brescia to beat countryman Laurie Canter and Belgium’s Nicolas Colsaerts by a shot. It was an emotional victory for McGowan, who has spent the last decade in the golfing wilderness after winning the Madrid Masters in 2009 and almost making it onto the Ryder Cup team the following year. Yet he put all that behind him, holing a spectacular bunker shot on the 16th before the grandstand moment on the 18th for a 71 and a 20-under total.