Nicklaus critical of McIlroy’s lack of concentration but he can win the Grand Slam

Fatiha Betscher

Jack Nicklaus (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)

Fatiha Betscher

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Jack Nicklaus singled out Rory McIlroy’s lack of concentration as the Northern Irishman yet again attempts to win the one major championship to elude him.

It’s been near on a decade since McIlroy won his fourth major championship at the 2014 PGA Championship and he faces another 72 hole test to see can he end his major drought and complete the grand slam.

And no sooner had Nicklaus joined fellow golfing legends Gary Player and Tom Watson in hitting the opening tee shots of the 88th Masters, the trio headed off to meet the press.

Nicklaus was soon asked about McIlroy and his chances in a 16th Masters if he can join the 18-time major champion in golf’s elite Grand Slam club.

“I only have one criticism of Rory,” 18-time major winner Nicklaus said.

“You have to concentrate 100 per cent of the time. For some reason, Rory always has a little bit of a lapse somewhere around the tournament. He’ll find a double bogey or triple bogey that sneaks in there.

“I don’t know how he does it or why he does it, but it happens. And I wish that wouldn’t happen.”

During the earlier press conference Nicklaus said he believed McIlroy would win the Masters at some point, but pointed out that Watson and Arnold Palmer both missed out on a career grand slam after failing to win the US PGA.

“I mean, is Tom Watson good enough to win the Grand Slam? Absolutely,” Nicklaus said.

“Was Arnold Palmer good enough to win the Grand Slam? Absolutely. Is Rory McIlroy good enough to win the Grand Slam, absolutely, but they have got to do it, and they all know that.

“Do I think Rory will win here? Yeah. He could win this year. He could win next year. He’s just too talented not to. But then again, they (Watson and Palmer) were too talented not to win those, too. You just never know.”

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