McIlroy’s last major triumph came back in 2014.
Nick Faldo has pinpointed the weakness in Rory McIlroy’s game he believes has held the Northern Irishman back from triumphing at The Masters.
McIlroy needs a Masters title to complete a career grand slam but has not tasted success at the majors since his PGA Championship victory in 2014.
The 31-year-old enjoyed an excellent 2019 season, winning four events including The Players Championship, but has endured a frustrating 2020 campaign.
Indeed, since golf returned from lockdown in June, McIlroy has failed to finish higher than tied seventh in 12 events.
And in order to exorcise his Augusta ghosts – he famously shot himself out of contention in 2011 – Faldo believes McIlroy must discover more precision with his irons.
“It’s all about hitting the right shot all the time and landing it consistently on the right number,” Faldo, who won three Masters titles during his decorated career, told the BBC.
“That’s one thing I’ve watched in him over the years when he’s warming up on the range. Sometimes the eight-iron, there is too much disparity between the shots.
“On the old range at Augusta there’d be a little green down the left-hand side, it was the size of a dinner plate and I’d just be hitting eight and nine irons to that, so I’d get the consistency, literally feeling it off the club.
“You could literally feel plus or minus a yard to that level of distance control,” added Faldo, who won in 1989, 90 and 96.”
Faldo also believes that McIlroy can be his own worst enemy at times, pointing out that he is prone to allowing a couple of wayward shots to affect his mindset.
“It starts technically and it affects him emotionally,” added Faldo, who will be covering The Masters as CBS Sports’ lead golf analyst.
“I think he’s the kind of guy who will hit a couple of bad shots and then get down.
“Some guys get very nervous too early and then mentally it can cause them to hit bad shots. So it can work both ways, but I think definitely Rory leans to, oh boy, one too many bad shots.
“And then you get a little down on yourself and then it just kills your momentum. That’s my guess from afar.”