What Would A 15-Handicapper Shoot Around Augusta? Rory McIlroy Gave This Brutal Response...

McIlroy's search for an elusive Grand Slam with a Masters victory continues but he gave short shrift to any idea amateurs could handle Augusta

Rory McIlroy saw his hopes fade in the 2024 Masters
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Rory McIlroy's search for a Masters title is set to continue into 2025 after failing to find his best form at Augusta again this year.

Rounds of 71, 77 and 71 left the Northern Ireland golfer 10 shots off the lead going into the final round with his hopes of completing a Grand Slam surely having to wait for another year at least. 

After completing his third round in conditions which caused some of the world's best pros to struggle as a result of the firm, fast greens which had been dried out by the wind and sun, McIlroy was asked how amateurs might fare on such a day at Augusta. 

McIlroy was asked specifically: 'What would a 15-handicap do around here?' before giving a cutting reply. He said: "It's hard because a 15-handicap usually doesn't get the ball in the air far enough for the wind to affect it, but they would have struggled."

McIlroy came into Augusta off the back of a third-place finish at the Valero Texas Open, but his first-round 71 left him trailing the leaders before his chances were effectively gone following a second round 77 that failed to include a single birdie. 

McIlroy has now entered to play the RBC Heritage tournament at Hilton Head next week on the PGA Tour in a bid to climb up the FedExCup points list as he currently languishes in 41st. 

Ahead of his fourth round at the Masters, McIlroy said: "I want to shoot a good round of golf and move on to Hilton Head next week in a good frame of mind. I need to get all the events under my belt as I can."

Rory McIlroy sees his 2024 Masters hopes plummet

Rory McIlroy sees his 2024 Masters hopes plummet

(Image credit: Getty Images)

McIlroy also said he is determined not to get too hung up over his latest failure at Augusta as he bids to join a select five-man group of players to have completed a Grand Slam.

Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus, and Tiger Woods have all done it and McIlroy would become only the sixth player if he eventually wins at Masters.

He reflected: "All I can do is come here and try my best. That's what I do every time I show up. Some years it's better than others. I've just got to keep showing up and try to do the right thing."

James Nursey

James Nursey is a freelance contributor to Golf Monthly after spending over 20 years as a sports reporter in newspapers. During a 17-year career with the Daily Mirror, he covered mainly football but reported from The Open annually and also covered a Ryder Cup and three US Opens. He counts a pre-tournament exclusive with Justin Rose at Merion in 2013 as one of his most memorable as the Englishman went on to win his first Major and later repeated much of the interview in his winner’s speech.  Now, after choosing to leave full-time work in newspapers, James, who is a keen single-figure player, is writing about golf more.  His favourite track is the Old Course after attending St Andrews University but has since played mainly at Edgbaston, where he is a long-time member. James’ golfing highlights include previously winning the club championship and scratch knock-out there. He is also an active member of the Association of Golf Writers and Press Golfing Society but his favourite round is playing the game with his young children. James is currently playing:  Driver: Ping G400 3 wood: Ping i20 Hybrid: Ping i20 Irons: Ping i500 4-SW Wedges: Ping Glide forged 50, 56 Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Ball: Titleist ProVIx