"It was the first time I'd been on the course since last year and the first time I'd been on the 10th," said the Northern Ireland world number two.
"Playing the 10th brings back memories, but once you get it out of the way it's fine and you just concentrate on the week."
Of the 10th hole, where he drove his tee shot into the area near the cabins, he added: "I said at the news conference that I didn't realise how close to tee-box those cabins were. I thought they were a lot further down the fairway. It's nice to be able to laugh about it."
McIlroy was still one ahead heading up to the hole but then recorded a triple-bogey, bogey and double-bogey.
Excitement builds for 2012 Masters
The Holywood player said his US Open triumph at Bethsheba in June 2011 helped ease the pain of Augusta.
"It's big coming here as a reigning major champion," he continued.
"I didn't know what was going to happen after this time last year. I didn't know whether it was going to have an effect or whether I would bounce back.
"But I was able to bounce back straight away. It's great to win a major, but to win so soon after what happened here [at Augusta] is extra special."
It is set to be another hotly-contested tournament and McIlroy believes 14-major winner
Tiger Woods's return to form
will add to the excitement.
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