Rory McIlroy with head to next fortnight’s Masters admitting he’s mentally strong and not at all feeling drained after salvaging a draw in his ‘dead rubber’ WGC Dell Match-Play Championship match against Argentina’s Emiliano Grillo.
McIlroy had lost his first match to Dane Soren Kjeldsen and then when American Gary Woodland withdrew due to personal reasons there was no way McIlroy would break into the last 16.
In past the past two years, McIlroy has played the maximum of six matche. Winning the 2015 event in San Francisco and then he went through to also play six matches having been beaten by Spain’s Rafa Cabrera-Bello last year in the play-off for third place.
“It is odd whenever you have nothing to play for and I guess it was both Emiliano’s and my fault not winning out matches on the first day,” said McIlroy. “So I am going to Augusta on Sunday. I’ll play Monday and Tuesday and then head back to Augusta the Monday night of Masters week itself.”
And McIlroy was asked, given he missed six weeks earlier this year due to a rib injury, whether he felt fresh heading to the Masters staring on April 6th, given he has not played as he would have liked this season.
“I don’t know. As I said, I’ve played — since coming back from the injury, I’ve played ten competitive rounds, I guess. I felt good. I’ve played well. I struggled the first round of Bay Hill, but apart from that it’s been quite good,” he said.
“I can’t see a downside to not having played as much as I planned to. I feel really healthy. I don’t feel any issue with my health. So, freshness could help, especially mentally. Mentally going in there and not being drained. So that’s a good thing as well. As I said, I wouldn’t be trying to emulate this buildup in the next few years even if it does work this year.”
When McIlroy tees up in the 2017 Masters it will be ‘Take 3’ in his effort to win the coveted career Grand Slam, and if successful, he would join just five other golfers in the history of the game to have won all four Major Championships.