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Golf Australia Express : OTG Express 140 - The Masters
tournaments, with a month’s break before the Masters, where he famously finished tied for 15th after a monumental final-round capitulation in which he imploded on the back nine and carded an 80. Both 2010 and his first Masters in 2009 featured a four-tournament schedule but no green jacket love, with his maiden appearance in 2009 yielding a tie for 20th and his second crack finishing up on Friday with a missed cut. So will McIlroy’s secret sessions over the past few weeks bring him the prize his previous preparations could not? As far as mental readiness goes, he thinks so. “Augusta is one of the most mentally challenging weeks of the year,” he said. “When you get off there on a Sunday night, you are sort of ‘done’.” While his fellow pros chase crucial form and confidence in Texas and Houston, the 25-year-old instead chose to sharpen his skills in isolation in Florida, even if that – coupled with his middling form in the tournaments he has played so far this year – means he won’t deserve the favouritism he’ll take into the year’s first major. “Given the way I have been playing ... I guess if you go on form then probably no (I shouldn’t be favourite),” he said. “But it depends on how far you take that form back. You have got to look at previous results and all that sort of stuff. I’m not a bookmaker.” “I am excited going there with the opportunity to achieve three [major wins] in a row, [and] the career grand slam. It’s a nice position to be in. I’m going to embrace it, try not to build it up too much. I know it’s a big deal but hopefully I can get my game as good as I possibly can.” Risk versus reward. There’s plenty of both in McIlroy’s Masters assault strategy. As always, one way or another the result will speak for itself. OTG “AUGUSTA IS ONE OF THE MOST MENTALLY CHALLENGING WEEKS OF THE YEAR...WHEN YOU GET OFF THERE ON A SUNDAY NIGHT, YOU ARE SORT OF ‘DONE’.”
OTG Express 139
OTG Express 141 - Masters Wrap