Six-time Masters champion Jack Nicklaus has put ever growing pressure on Rory McIlroy as he states that he will be tough to beat in the first major championship of 2018.
Speaking to the Golf Channel, Nicklaus said that he is backing the Northern Irish man to finish his career grand slam this week.
Since his meteoric rise in the game of golf, the green jacket at Augusta has been the one that has evaded him and prevented him from completing the illustrious grand slam.
For this reason, McIlroy always seems to hyped up in the media on the week of the first major every year. Golfing legend Jack Nicklaus has stoked the fire and claimed that his good form and experience will make him a tough opponent.
“I talked to him this weekend and saw a few things and he is really swinging well, the best I’ve ever seen him swing, he obviously putted very well at Bay Hill so he’s going to be tough to beat.
“If you picked anybody he’d be the number one to pick and rightly so. He’s probably playing better than anyone else.”
The four-time major winner travels to Augusta in good form on the back of a win at the Arnold Palmer invitational at Bay Hill last month and Nicklaus believes that
“You play it every year, you can prepare for it easier, once you play the greens you should know them, if you’re not a long, high-ball player you can eliminate half the field before you even start.
“No tournament is easy to win, don’t misunderstand me, but of the majors a top player has a better shot here than any other place.” (via The Irish Times)
The Northern Irish man will be hoping that when he drives back up Magnolia Lane on Sunday night or Monday morning, that he will be wearing the coveted green jacket.
If that happens, he will join an esteemed and exclusive group of only five other players that have completed the grand slam. The names Gene Sarazen, Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus, Ben Hogan and Tiger woods speak for themselves.
Rory McIlroy will hope to join this list on Sunday and go down as one of the greatest to ever play the game.