Rory McIlroy is making plans to complete the career Grand Slam at this week’s Masters tournament at Augusta National, with the golfing legend looking to Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus’ ‘disciplined’ strategies to help him achieve his goal. McIlroy has stated that speaking to five-time winner Woods has been beneficial, and he is now keen to emulate the two golfing greats’ game plan at this week’s major.
The 33-year-old golfer explained how Woods has done “really well at Augusta” by staying disciplined and avoiding unnecessary risks, leading him to be one of the most successful players at the Masters, alongside six-time champion Nicklaus. McIlroy, who is yet to win at Augusta, remembers his disastrous end in the 2011 tournament, where he let a four-shot lead slip and shot an eight-over-par 80 on the final round. However, since then he has added three major championships – the 2011 US Open, two US PGA titles, and the 2014 Open title – to his trophy cabinet.
The Northern Irishman was once again in the frame last year when he finished as runner-up after a remarkable closing 64, which include a birdie at the 18th. With one more major win, McIlroy would join golf’s golden five in Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Gary Player, Nicklaus and Woods in the elite Grand Slam club.
Nicklaus had some words of wisdom for McIlroy too, saying the 33-year-old needed to be more focused on certain shots when playing at Augusta. Nicklaus spoke on Sir Nick Faldo’s Round Table Chats podcast last month, where he named six specific shots which McIlroy should pay “better attention” to.
McIlroy has spoken positively about his runner-up finish at last year’s Masters, describing it as “more like a win”. He is eager to carry that momentum into this year’s tournament and fulfill his dreams to become a champion at Augusta National.
Outside the Masters, McIlroy recently formed a business venture with Woods, which will see them and other PGA Tour stars competing on virtual courses in a stadium setting on the Monday evening of tournament weeks in 2024. McIlroy is thankful for Woods’ guidance and friendship, and says he admires the way Woods has stood up and “tried to do what’s right for the game of golf” amidst the emergence of the Saudi-backed LIV Golf series.
The Masters tournament is fast approaching and Rory McIlroy will be depending on his discipline and strategy when aiming to become a champion at Augusta National. By taking a page out of the books from Woods and Nicklaus, McIlroy has put himself in good stead to potentially etch his name in the history books.