McIlroy Reveals Two Key Pre-Augusta Decisions To Help Win Maiden Masters


In a move that will hopefully see him rewarded with a maiden Masters title Rory McIlroy has made two key pre-Augusta decisions.

Firstly, he has returned to work with famed coach, Butch Harmon.

And secondly McIlroy is reportedly going to skip the Par-3 Contest held annually on the eve of the Masters and thus also avoiding any pre-Masters hoax that if you win the Par-3 Contest you won’t win The Masters.

The current World No. 2 ranked McIlroy needs no reminding it’s now a decade since he last captured a major championship and that was in the near darkness at Valhalla in suburban Louisville, Kentucky by capturing the 2014 PGA Championship.

As for the Masters, next week mark’s McIlroy’s 16th straight appearance on the famed Augusta National course with his best finish being runner-up two years ago to Scottie Scheffler.

Of course, McIlroy’s best chance at Augusta glory was 2011 when he headed into the final round leading by four shots but imploded in posting a closing 80 and crash to a share of 15th.

Now in a further quest to win the only major to have illuded the Northern Irishman he’s reported to have started working with Harmon once again, and who he first turned to in 2020.

“The one thing I love about Butch is he’s worked with so many players,” McIlroy said ahead of the Valero Texas Open.

“So, if you’re trying to explain to him, ‘Look, I’m trying to do this or I’m trying to create that feeling. Freddie Couples felt this, or Tiger did this or DJ felt that. It’s always nice to have that reference.’”

“My major play has definitely improved a bit over the last few years. Seven of the last eight I’ve finished in the top 10 and I’ve had a couple of really good chances in there as well. It’s getting close.

“I had a really good try at St. Andrews [2022 Open], I didn’t quite get it done there. I also had a really good chance at LACC [2023 US Open] and didn’t quite get it done there. I’m confident. I feel like my game is more well-equipped to contend in Major championships more consistently.

“Yes I’ve won major championships in my career, and I’ve won them by a large margin, but I feel like my performances in majors used to be a little volatile, whereas now they are a little more consistent. I feel good about that and we’ve got four really good venues for the majors this year and I’m excited for that as well.”

McIlroy is among 30 players teeing-up this week at TPC San Antonio and who also will be competing next week at the 88th hosting of the Masters.

Mcllroy is also making his third start at the Valero Texas Open, highlighted by a runner-up in 2013 and the year Scotland’s Martin Laird who birdied the closing three holes in posting an equal course record 63 to deny McIlroy by two shots.

And McIlroy is competing on the PGA Tour and in the week before the Masters Tournament for the sixth time in his career. His results in those prior five events, as well as his Masters finish in brackets, include:

2022 Valero Texas Open MC  (Masters 2nd)
2014 Texas Children’s Houston Open T7 (Masters T8)
2013 Valero Texas Open 2nd (Masters T25)
2010 Texas Children’s Houston Open MC (Masters MC)
2009 Texas Children’s Houston Open T19 (Masters T20)

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