McIlroy Admits He Needs To Smell Not The Roses But The Augusta Azaleas

Rory McIlroy was the last player to register for this year’s 88th hosting of the Masters but dmits if he’s to finally be fitted with an Augusta National members green jacket then he must smell not the roses but the azaleas.

McIlroy is contesting a 16th straight Masters since driving down Magnolia Lane for a first time since 2009 while he’s driven back out of the famed Georgia golf course with an impressive seven top-10s, including a best finish of second behind Scottie Scheffler two years ago.

However, and what has been mentioned widely already is that it is also a decade since McIlroy last won a major championship with a second PGA Championship triumph in 2024.

As well, this week marks the 13th anniversary when he headed into the final round of the 2011 Masters only to implode with a closing day 80 and tumble back into a share of 15th place.

Now the golf world again waits with baited breath if a now 34-year-old McIlroy can not only end his major-championship winning drought but capture the one major he needs to join the games ultra-elite Grand Slam club.

“I feel like I’ve got all the tools to do well this week.

“But to bring those tools out, I think one of the most important things is to enjoy it and smell the, I guess not the roses, the azaleas along the way.

“This is my 16th start in the Masters, so I feel like I’ve done it quite a few different ways, and I guess am just trying to bring a little bit of normalcy into what I sort of try to do week in, week out.

“I play 25 weeks a year, and there’s no point in doing anything different this week compared to other weeks, I guess.

“I wanted to play quite a bit leading up to this just to feel like my game was sharp or, if it wasn’t sharp, to try to get it in the best shape possible. I feel like I made a couple of good strides in that direction last week in Texas.

“I usually try to get into tournaments either Monday nights or Tuesday mornings, and that’s sort of what I’ve done this week.

“I came up here last week to play two practice rounds at the start of the week so I feel like I’ve already got most of my prep work done. So it’s just about going out there and being relaxed and being in the right frame of mind.

“Not trying to win it from the first tee shot is something that I’ve tried to learn. It’s a 72-hole golf tournament. I’ve won from 10 strokes back going into the weekend.

“This golf course gets you to chase things a little more than other golf courses, if you make a bogey or if you get yourself out of position, because it always tempts you to do something you think you can do.

“And I’m pretty confident in my golf game. I think I can do most things, but sometimes you just have to take the conservative route and be a little more disciplined and patient.”

If there is one player who believes McIlroy can win the Masters it is the player who owns five Augusta National green jackets – Tiger Woods.

Woods reiterated his belief that McIlroy will definitely win the Masters during his career to complete the grand slam as McIlroy kept his own media duties to a minimum.

“It’s flattering,” McIlroy said when asked to comment on Woods’ remarks.

“It’s nice to hear, in my opinion, the best player ever to play the game say something like that.

“Does that mean that it’s going to happen? Obviously not. But he’s been around the game long enough to know that I at least have the potential to do it.

“I know I’ve got the potential to do it too. It’s not as if I haven’t been a pretty good player for the last couple of decades. But, yeah, it’s nice to hear it when it comes out of his mouth.”

Comments are closed.