Rory McIlroy was much-fancied to end his quest for a Green Jacket this year, yet it's been a disappointing week at Augusta for the Ulsterman
Wait For Green Jacket Continues For McIlroy
As the big names began to cluster on Sunday afternoon's leaderboard, one name was conspicuous by its absence. Rory McIlroy leaves Augusta still craving a Green Jacket and the much-talked about Grand Slam after enduring a disappointing week at the 2019 US Masters.
In 12 months' time he'll face the same questions he's been answering since winning The Open in 2014 - variations of 'What do you need to do to win at Augusta?' Questions like this are unlikely to cause the Ulsterman a headache. After all, a Masters victory would make him just the sixth player in the history of the game to win all four Major titles. There are worse positions to be in.
"I keep saying this, I would dearly love to win this tournament one day," said McIlroy on the eve of the tournament. "If it doesn't happen this week, that's totally fine, I'll come back next year and have another crack at it. But I'm happy with where everything is, body, mind, game."
McIlroy is saying all the right things, perhaps to alleviate the pressure that accompanies being on the verge of such an historic achievement. However, there are those who will question whether he has what it takes to win at Augusta - and only a victory will silence the doubters.
His record at the US Masters does more than suggest he has the game to prevail at Augusta. Indeed, this year's T21 is the first time he's finished outside the top ten since 2013. If you were to design a golf course specifically to suit McIlroy's game, it would look something like Augusta National, a course that rewards the very best ball strikers - and he's certainly one of those.
It's the putting that remains a concern. When Rory is hot, he's really hot, but when the doubts creep in, his stroke is far less assured. This is when his patience becomes frayed and he loses that skip in his step. He'll have plenty more cracks at the Grand Slam. For now, at least, it's back to the drawing board.
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Rory McIlroy Masters Record
2018: T5 2017: T7 2016: T10 2015: 4 2014: T8 2013: T25 2012: T40 2011: T15 2010: MC 2009: T20
Michael has been with Golf Monthly since 2008. As a multimedia journalist, he has also worked for The Football Association, where he created content to support the men's European Championships, The FA Cup, London 2012, and FA Women's Super League. As content editor at Foremost Golf, Michael worked closely with golf's biggest equipment manufacturers, and has developed an in-depth knowledge of this side of the industry. He's now a regular contributor, covering instruction, equipment and feature content. Michael has interviewed many of the game's biggest stars, including six world number ones, and has attended and reported on many Major Championships and Ryder Cups. He's a member of Formby Golf Club.
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