Can Rory McIlroy make career history by adding the Masters green jacket to his collection of four major titles in his professional career spanning the last twelve years?
If he wins at Augusta this week, he would join Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods as the sixth player to win all four modern majors – The Masters, the US Open, The Open and the US PGA Championship.
This will be McIlroy’s eleventh attempt to win the title; the closest he came to it was in 2011 when he led after the first round after a bogey free 7 under par 65. This triumph made him the youngest player ever to lead the Masters after the first day. He led by two strokes over Jason Day in the second round with a 10 under par score. On the Saturday he finished four strokes ahead of the next four challengers and everyone thought history was about to be made however on Sunday even though McIlroy led after he scored one over par 37 on the first nine holes, he had a very unfortunate round of 80, which saw him finish at 4 under par for tournament which left him in T15 and Mc Ilroy lost it, literally!
He bounced back very quickly and stunned the world by winning the US Open just a couple of months later with a mesmerizing performance. He set several records with victory, becoming the youngest winner at 22 years old, since Bobby Jones in 1923 and most notably his aggregate score of 268 over 72 holes which was a new US Open record.
Overall, McIlroy has twenty four wins under his belt and he is not yet thirty. After his US Open in 2011, he also claimed victory in the PGA Championship in 2012 and the Open in 2014 .He has been on the fringes of all the majors in the last five years but his best finish at Augusta was fourth spot in 2015, when he was six behind winner Jordan Spieth. McIlroy hadn’t won a tournament since the Irish Open in 2016 but ended his professional drought last month with an impressive victory at the Players Championship.
Speaking to the media this week McIlroy said “I’ve had four years of going to Augusta knowing it’s the one, whether it’s the Grand Slam or the one major I haven’t won,” added the 29-year-old.
“I think I’ve handled it OK. I haven’t won and I didn’t play at my best in the final round last year, but I’ve had four top-10s in a row since going there [chasing the Grand Slam].
“I don’t want to make predictions but I’d like to think that if I’m going to go back to Augusta over the next 10 or 15 years, at least a quarter or a third of those times I’m going to give myself a pretty good chance to win.”
With his confidence restored after his win at the Players Championship, Rory McIlroy could be on course to win this year’s US Masters.
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