Rory McIlroy: November’s US Masters could be my time

Four-time Major winner feels Augusta could ‘play long’ as he bids for first Green Jacket

Rory McIlroy is still searching for his first victory at Augusta National. Photograph: Kevin C Cox/Getty

Rory McIlroy is still searching for his first victory at Augusta National. Photograph: Kevin C Cox/Getty

 

Rory McIlroy believes the rescheduled Masters in November will have a different feel but could also aid his bid to complete the career grand slam.

The coronavirus pandemic has impacted sport across the globe and has had serious implications in golf, affecting the calendars on both the European Tour and PGA Tour.

Eleven European Tour events have now been called off in addition to the Open being cancelled, while the other three majors have been rescheduled for the second half of the year.

The Masters, which should have concluded on Easter Sunday, is the only major that McIlroy has yet to win in his career and the Northern Irishman is hoping the dynamics of the November 12th-15th slot can inspire a maiden victory at Augusta.

Speaking to Michelle Wie on an Instagram Live with Nike Golf, McIlroy said: “The Masters means so much. Obviously it’s the last major for me to win but putting that aside, it is such a special place, so many great memories already.

“Any time you get to play at Augusta is a lot of fun.

“November is going to be different, very cold, the course could play very long. It plays long already but it can play very long. The greens may not be as fast as in April depending on the moisture.

Rory McIlroy celebrates after Europe’s Ryder Cup win in 2018. Photograph: Stuart Franklin/Getty
Rory McIlroy celebrates after Europe’s Ryder Cup win in 2018. Photograph: Stuart Franklin/Getty

“I think it will be a different feel, it’s at the back end of the year. Two of the majors have already been played, hopefully the Ryder Cup’s already been played. People will be in their routine and in the flow a little bit more.

“I always feel there’s this bit of anticipation going into Augusta, the first big event of the year. There’s all this hype.

“I don’t think it will feel like that this year, it will feel different but it’s something I’m looking forward to.

“It’s going to be a different Masters this year but personally, maybe selfishly, that’s what I need to get the jacket.”

The four-time major champion also said that he felt more pressure playing in the Ryder Cup rather than in majors and explained how playing in the biennial event helps him deal with scrutiny when contending in tournaments.

“You’re not just playing for yourself, you’re playing for your team-mates, you’re playing for your country, you’re playing for a lot of different people,” McIlory added.

“Pressure at the Ryder Cup is different. I think if you look at people who have performed well in Ryder Cups before they went on to win majors, I think it’s a good precursor.

“I think for us, that the Ryder Cup is the biggest and most intense atmosphere you can play under. If you can handle that, you can handle being in contention at the majors.”

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