Rory McIlroy’s stunning Masters admission, vulnerability at Augusta

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Rory McIlroy is already one of the game’s greats. He is a four-time major champion, has won 24 PGA Tour tournaments and three FedEx Cup titles (the most in PGA Tour history). Yet, there is still a glaring hole on his resume, and that’s a Green Jacket.

The Masters at Augusta National is the lone major title McIlroy is yet to conquer.

The 34-year-old McIlroy recently joined the English podcast Stick to Football where he detailed his struggles there.

“This year… I was on the first green the second morning. I saw Brooks Koepka was coming up the eighth… I saw that he had already got to 10-under. I’m even par. I’m there thinking ‘jeez, I’m 10 behind already. I have to start pressing,’” McIlroy admitted.

“The worst thing I did that day was look at the leaderboard… The winning score ended up being 10-under, so I thought I needed to get to 10-under in the space of 18 or 27 holes when I could have said, ‘It’s ok, chill out. Play your normal game and see where you are at.’”

The 2023 Masters is hardly the only time McIlroy missed an opportunity to join the exclusive list of career Grand Slam winners.

He has come close a number of times, including 2011 when he held a four-shot lead going into Sunday. A final round 80 unfortunately sent the Irishman to a T15 finish as Charl Scwartzel took home the trophy.

There have been a number of other close calls, including a second place finish in 2022.

Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

Podcast host Paddy McGuinness applauded the Irishman for accepting that “vulnerability” at the Masters.

“I think at Augusta for me, I sometimes do things I wouldn’t normally do because of what it is, the pressure, that sort of stuff,” McIlroy retorted.

Not only has he failed to win the Masters, but it has been 10 years since his last major victory of any kind. The 2014 PGA Championship was his last major title.

McIlroy joined Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus as the only players under the age of 25 to win four majors. It appeared as though he might climb onto the Mount Rushmore of golfers. But that narrative has obviously changed over the last decade.

The former world number one is fully confident in his ability, but needs to improve his mental approach at Augusta.

“I know I can win. I know I can beat all these guys. So the only person stopping me from doing that is myself, my thoughts… That’s why Tiger was so good. He was so strong mentally, he was so much mentally better than anyone else.”

McIlroy is 100 percent spot on with that assessment.

Kendall Capps is the Senior Editor at SB Nation’s Playing Through. For more golf coverage, follow us @_PlayingThrough on all major social platforms.

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