McIlroy upbeat about mastering elusive Augusta
World No 2 says he has what it takes to complete Grand Slam of four Majors
Augusta — Rory McIlroy has yet to crack the code at Augusta National, but the world No 2 said on Tuesday he has all the necessary ingredients to complete the career Grand Slam of golf’s four Majors at this week’s Masters.
McIlroy, who has had his share of Masters heartbreak, feels most of his past struggles at the year’s first Major were due to mental or emotional struggles and that he has learnt from the scar tissue that has built up.
“It’s sort of just like I’ve got all the ingredients to make the pie,” McIlroy told reporters. “It’s just putting all those ingredients in and setting the oven to the right temperature and letting it all come to fruition.
“But I know that I’ve got everything there. It’s just a matter of putting it all together.”
In 2011, McIlroy began the final round of the Masters with a four-shot lead but endured a harrowing back-nine collapse and finished in a share of 15th place.
The 33-year-old Northern Irishman has often been plagued by slow starts at the Masters, that left him having to try to attack a layout that often rears its head and bites back in such situations.
But McIlroy enjoyed a breakthrough of sorts at last year’s Masters when he used a late surge to record a career-best runner-up showing that he capped in style from a greenside bunker when he chipped in for birdie.
“I felt last year that I maybe shed some of that scar tissue and felt like I made breakthroughs,” said McIlroy.
“I’m feeling as relaxed as I ever have coming in here just in terms of I feel like my game is in a good place. I know the place just as about as well as anyone.”
It will be McIlroy’s ninth bid to complete the career Grand Slam of golf’s four Majors, a feat that would put him in an exclusive club alongside Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and Tiger Woods.
McIlroy, a tournament favourite who counts one win among three top-10 finishes across six starts on the PGA Tour this season, has played 81 holes at Augusta National over the last 2½ weeks.
Augusta National may be tailor-made for McIlroy’s game and while that adds some element of comfort the four-times Major winner is under no impression that guarantees anything.
“It’s nice to know that I come back to this place every year and that if I played the way I know that I can, that I should have a good chance,” said McIlroy.
“I don’t need to do anything differently this week. I go out and play the way I know I can, get myself in with a chance to win, and then, those last couple of hours on Sunday, it’s not about whether the course sets up well for you. It’s about who can hold it together the best.”
Would you like to comment on this article?
Sign up (it's quick and free) or sign in now.
Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.