McIlroy ruffles feathers following Major comment
There may well be four major championships “in the bank” but there is only one tournament that matters to Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy.
All he cares about these days is winning the US Masters and several weeks after blowing his chance at Augusta National behind Patrick Reed, he knows even more how much winning a Green Jacket means to him.
Rory McIlroy (Credit: DP World)
“The Masters has now become the biggest golf tournament in the world, and I’m comfortable saying that,” McIlroy revealed as he returned to tournament play in the US last week.
“I don’t care about the US Open or the Open Championship, it is the biggest golf tournament in the world, the most amount of eyeballs, the most amount of hype, everything is at Augusta.”
“For me it’s the most special tournament that we play.”
“And it’s the one everyone desperately wants to win, but even if I was going for my first major, it’s still tough to win.”
And McIlroy admits he let one golden chance slip through his fingers last month when he could only manage a battling – and distant – fifth to Reed.
“It probably took me a week to get over it,” he said.
“I went back home and decompressed, binge-watched a couple of shows, read a couple of books, drank a few bottles of wine.”
“I was trying to immerse myself in anything but golf at that moment.”
“It got to point where Erica had to drag me out of the house and say: ‘We are going to do something’.”
McIlroy said it was just the quiet moments when he found himself staring off into the distance and thinking about a certain shot or a certain putt when he realized he had reached the point where he needed to see a bit of daylight and start to do some normal things.”
He also expressed his own disappointment at not being able to put the necessary pressure on Reed when he was playing in the final group with him on the Sunday.
While he began his day three shots back of Reed, he did manage to bring that deficit down to one heading to the third tee.
Yet he bogeyed two of the next three holes and really never got the chance to contend on that eventful final day as charges from Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler threatened to steal the show.
“I just didn’t give a good account of myself on that final day,” he said.
“I was sort of holding my game together, and on Sunday, under the pressure of chasing Patrick, it just never clicked for me.”
Even the crowds seemed to be urging McIlroy on:
“I got on to the first tee and the Augusta members were saying, ‘We’d love to have dinner with you tonight’, he said.
“And I said, ‘Don’t be ordering me anything just yet’.”