AUGUSTA, Ga. – Rory McIlroy believes he’s finally figured out his key to success at Augusta National, and he’s eager to implement the strategy this week at the Masters as he continues his search for the career Grand Slam.
It all comes down to being more aggressive.
“Sometimes you plod away and you make your pars and you think you’re doing OK, but you look at the board and you might be seven or eight back; someone’s got off to a hot start,” McIlroy said Tuesday.
Last year is the perfect example. McIlroy believed he was off to a nice opening round when he shot even-par 72. Turns out he wasn’t nearly aggressive enough. Charley Hoffman shot 65, and McIlroy was seven shots off the lead with three rounds remaining, feeling further behind than he should’ve been.
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“You don’t want to put too much pressure on yourself to start off fast, but you want to be there or thereabouts after the first couple of days,” McIlroy said. “So I have gotten in my way before, but I think because I’m a little more comfortable on the golf course and comfortable in my game. I don’t think that will happen this week.”
McIlroy will no longer be satisfied with par on holes that he should birdie. And he’ll grind just a little more over that 5-footer he needs to save for par. He knows that these little things have cost him a chance at winning a green jacket in the past.
“You might hit two great shots into 11 and miss the putt, but you walk away with a 4 thinking that’s still OK,” McIlroy said. “But at the end of the day you had a realistic chance for birdie on a hole where you could gain a shot and a half on the field.
“I just have to keep reminding myself of that when the tournament starts.”