Rory McIlroy addressed the media yesterday at Augusta, giving an honest and insightful assessment of where his mind is at in the build-up to the first major of the year.
McIlroy was speaking to Golf Digest’s Brain Wacker when he acknowledged his own shortcomings in his previous attempts to clinch a maiden green jacket. Still searching for the only major that has evaded his trophy cabinet to date, the Northern Irishman let us see just how brutal his will to win this week is, and how that affects him and those around him in the build up to golf’s most famous championship.
Asked what words pop into his head when he hears “The Masters,” the 27-year-old responded:
“I am, ask anyone who knows me, a complete prick in the week leading up to Augusta. But they understand and know that. It’s a stressful situation.
“I’ve been in position before, and I haven’t got the job done when I needed to, and I don’t think that’s anything to do with my game.
“I think that’s more me mentally, and I’m trying to deal with the pressure of it and the thrill of the achievement if it were to happen. I think that’s the thing that’s really holding me back.”
For the four-time major winner to admit to the public he is a “complete prick” because of the pressure he is putting himself under to win this week is telling of his desire to finally claim a Masters victory and complete the career grand slam.
Rory will be up against a world number one Dustin Johnson in the form of his life, Jordan Speith, a returning Jason Day and hot new prospect Jon Rahm amongst the stiff competition hoping to keep him waiting that bit further to get his hands on a green jacket of his own.
While he concedes he must have his mindset right to prosper over the field this week, he will certainly have to be on top of his game to tame Augusta National.