Rory McIlroy is struggling to search out consistency forward of the eighty fifth Masters, chasing the inexperienced jacket to finish a profession Grand Slam a decade after an epic Augusta National collapse.
The 31-year-old from Northern Ireland hasn’t gained a serious title since 2014 however has six top-10 Masters finishes prior to now seven years, together with a share of fifth final November after a horrid opening 75.
“I struggled there on the first day, just sort of started to trust myself a little bit and found something in between that first and second round. I played really well from then on in,” McIlroy stated after lacking the minimize at The Players Championship.
“I certainly have like an idea in my head of the way I want to play that golf course, and I felt like I really made some good strides in November. But if you’re not hitting the shots, then it doesn’t make any difference.
“First and foremost I’ve to have the ability to hit the pictures and get the ball beginning on my line and management the flight and management the spin. At the minute I’m struggling to do this, and if you cannot do this going to Augusta, you’ve got bought no likelihood.”
Four-time major winner McIlroy, ranked 11th, wouldn’t advance from group play at the WGC Match Play in his last tuneup for a 10th anniversary trip to Augusta National from his final-round flop.
In 2011, McIlroy led by four strokes entering the final round, then fired a final-round 80 and settled for a share of 15th. Clinging to the lead on the 10th tee, he hooked a tee shot way left and his title bid fell apart.
Two months later, he won the US Open at Congressional in record-setting fashion for his first major title.
And just as he battled back from an epic failure 10 years ago, he’s not willing to declare his glory days behind him just yet.
“You should be an everlasting optimist on this sport and I actually imagine that my greatest days are forward of me,” McIlroy said. “You should imagine that. There’s no level in me being out right here if I did not assume that.”
But these days, he’s battling inconsistency after trying to make swing changes to add length after seeing Bryson DeChambeau win the US Open last September.
“I’d be mendacity if I stated it wasn’t something to do with what Bryson did on the US Open,” McIlroy said. “I assumed with the ability to get some extra pace is an effective factor, and I perhaps, to the detriment somewhat little bit of my swing, I bought there however I simply have to perhaps rein it again in somewhat bit.”
– ‘Take a bit of time’ –
The search for the right mix has been a frustrating one for McIlroy so far.
“It’s a really tough sport at instances and I really feel prefer it’s testing me somewhat greater than it has executed in the previous couple of years,” McIlroy said. “I really feel the one technique to get by way of it’s to place your head down and work on the correct issues and form of belief the method and put within the arduous work.
“There’s going to be some good days, there’s going to be some bad, but I feel like I’m on the right path.”
He’s working with swing coach Pete Cowan in addition to long-time coach Michael Bannon, however Cowan is on tour and extra obtainable in particular person with Covid-19 inflicting journey points.
“It’ll take a bit of time,” McIlroy stated. “Like with anything, the slightest change in your swing is going to feel uncomfortable for a while. It’s not like it’s that far away.
“The good golf is in there and I really feel able to going out and capturing good scores any week on any golf course. But it is the times the place you do not really feel so good that you could handle it and get it round in a pair below par. That’s the problem for me proper now.”