McIlroy begins quest for Grand Slam glory at Honda
Rory McIlroy will begin his quest for Grand Slam glory when he makes his first U.S. appearance of the year at the Honda Classic in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida starting tonight (US time).
Winning The Masters at Augusta in April would give McIlroy a career ‘Grand Slam’ at the age of just 25. Only five golfers have won all four of golf’s modern Majors — Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus, and Tiger Woods. Bobby Jones Jnr won the Grand Slam prior to the Masters era, when the U.S. and British Amateur and Opens were the Majors of the day.
Rory McIlroy (Credit: Anthony Powter)
McIlroy couldn’t wish to begin his preparation at a better location than the PGA National layout, where he was a winner in 2012 and formed part of a four-way playoff last year before succumbing to Russell Henley.
“There’s so much hype going into Augusta, anyway,” McIlroy said. “So it’s just about making sure I’m as well prepared as I possibly can be going into that event.”
“I feel like I’ve got a good routine and mental strategy going into the Majors now where I try not to let too much affect me. If I can do that, that will give me the best possible chance to play well that week.”
A distinctly ‘majoresque’ field will contest the Honda as the PGA TOUR begins its Florida swing. Most of the top Americans will play and of the triumphant 2014 European Ryder Cup squad, only Henrik Stenson will be missing.
Australia’s top ten players, Adam Scott and the in-form Jason Day, will also sit out the event.
Aside from that and the injured Tiger Woods, the field is the strongest of any in the world so far in 2015, a perfect challenge for the world number one who already has tasted success in the Middle East in his two European Tour starts of the year.
“It’s time to look forward now and look towards this season and try and accomplish the goals that I set for myself at the start of this year,” McIlroy said.
“Winning tournaments, winning Majors. It’s the little things that you can do in practice and just in everyday life that can maybe help you get to that and be a little bit more consistent and do a couple more things.”
“I’m looking forward to all of it. It’s going to be a good year hopefully.”