“I think the mental one is the big challenge" - McGinley weighs in on McIlroy Masters hoodoo

by Ronan MacNamara  

Rory McIlroy. By Golffile

Paul McGinley feels that the biggest obstacle standing between Rory McIlroy and winning the Masters is his mentality when he turns up at Augusta National every year.

McIlroy stands on four major titles after winning the US Open, Open Championship and two PGA Championships, but has yet to don a green jacket in his illustrious career.

“I think the mental one is the big challenge,” McGinley told Sky Sports after they announced an extension to their broadcast partnership with the DP World Tour.

“There have only been five players in the history of the game to have won all four Major championships.”

The Masters might have been the Holywood native’s maiden major triumph in 2011 had his four-shot 54-hole lead not evaporated on the final day as he stumbled to an 80.

Since then McIlroy has registered three top-10s and three top-5s at Augusta National, with many coming after slow starts to the first major of the year.

The 32-year-old’s best chance since that Sunday eleven years ago came in 2018 when he trailed Patrick Reed by three shots heading into the final round.

However, he was comprehensively beaten by Reed, losing by six after a final round 74, the only over-par round in the top-15.

McGinley feels McIlroy and Jordan Spieth [at the PGA Championship] are faced with a different pressure when trying to seal the career grand slam but admits McIlroy has the game to win at Augusta National.

“It’s a very elite group and Rory is on the threshold of that as is Jordan Spieth

“So there’s mounting pressure every time they come to get that final one to complete the set.

“There’s a huge mental challenge. We know how good his game is, we’ve seen him play well. His putting has turned a big corner in the last year or two with his work with Brad Faxon, so that’s in good shape. He has got decent form around Augusta National, a golf course that should suit the style of golfer that he is.”


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