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Other SportsThe Masters 2024: Rory McIlroy flattered by Tigers Woods prediction

The Masters 2024: Rory McIlroy flattered by Tigers Woods prediction

Rory McIlroy was flattered to hear Tiger Woods say it is “just a matter of time” before he completes the career Grand Slam by winning The Masters.

The Masters remains the only major title to elude McIlroy, with a second-placed finish in 2022 – when he was three strokes back of Scottie Scheffler – the closest he has come to glory at Augusta National.

The current world number two has missed the cut at two of the last three editions of The Masters, including doing so last year, though he has made the top 10 on seven of his last 10 trips to Augusta.

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Last year, 15-time major champion Woods – the most recent player to complete the Grand Slam in 2000 – outlined his confidence that McIlroy would repeat his achievement.

He reiterated that belief ahead of 2024’s first major, saying “it’s just a matter of time” before the Northern Irishman completes the final leg of the Grand Slam.

When that quote was put to McIlroy in his own press conference on Wednesday, he said: “It’s flattering.

“It’s nice to hear, in my opinion, the best player to ever play the game say something like that. Does that mean that it’s going to happen? Obviously not.

“But he’s been around the game long enough to know that I at least have the potential to do it. I know I’ve got the potential to do it too.

“It’s not as if I haven’t been a pretty good player for the last couple of decades. It’s nice to hear it when it comes out of his mouth.”

McIlroy finished third at the Valero Texas Open on his most recent outing last week, having opted for a busy start to the year to prepare for this week’s tournament.

Asked how his approach will differ from previous years, McIlroy said: “I would say just not trying to win it from the first tee shot.

“I think that’s something that I’ve tried to learn. It’s a 72-hole golf tournament. I’ve won from 10 strokes back going into the weekend. There’s loads of different ways to do it.

“I think it’s been beneficial to play a little bit more this year. I think I’m a little more in tune with where my game is at and where my misses are.

“I think, once you play a lot, you learn how to manage your game a little bit better than when you haven’t played that much and you’re a little rusty. I think patterns emerge the more that you play.

“I think I can do most things, but sometimes you just have to take the conservative route and be a little more disciplined and patient.

“With a 72-hole golf tournament, you can be patient, you can be disciplined, and you can stick to your gameplan. That’s something that I’ve really tried to learn at this tournament over the years.”

Harry Carr
Harry Carr
Harry is a freelance sports journalist with experience of working for the Racing Post, Stats Perform, Opta Analyst and more, covering major events across all sports but holding a particular love for the beautiful game.
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