The world’s number one golfer, Rory McIlroy, and world’s biggest draw in golf – Tiger Woods – have stopped playing competitively in the two weeks leading to The Masters.
Both have cited that they have stepped away from professional golf to get their game in order before 2015’s first Major.
Contrary to most professional golfers, who use the Valero Texas Open and Shell Heuston Open as ‘tune-ups’, the two biggest names in golf have adopted another strategy. McIlroy and Woods are resting and working on their golf game away from the public eye. This just might be the best strategy for Woods and McIlroy.
However, players like Phil Mickelson, Jordan Spieth, Jim Furyk and Jimmy Walker are taking the more familiar approach by playing their way into The Masters. Time will tell which golfer used the best approach to prepare for the biggest tournament of the early 2015 professional golf season.
The Masters is a Major unmatched in golf. The pressure on each professional golfer is relentless leading up to the competition. For those trying to make the cut, these next two weeks are critical.
For those players who have qualified already, it is a matter of playing and practicing enough, but not too much so they peak at the right time. Do not forget the relentless media hype and second guessing that wears down even the strongest of athletes. These next two weeks will test the stamina of all players vying for a place at Augusta.
Is it possible that Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods are making the right approach in quietly preparing for The Masters?
Neither is playing particularly well, but both have the skill to win at any time. Of the two players, Tiger Woods’ ability to play well at Augusta is the most suspect. His play to date in 2015 does not resemble the player golfing fanatics have followed and revered for 20 years. Regardless, if the Tiger of old shows up, he just might win his 15th Major.
Rory McIlroy is another story. Trying to complete his career grand slam, McIlroy has the game to run away with this year’s Masters. His decision to quietly prepare for Augusta focuses around being mentally strong. Realizing that the media circus will be tough to manage over the next two weeks, McIlroy’s approach just might turn out to be pure genius.
The Masters is a week of endurance. Not only do players spend hours practicing, they are hounded by the media, sponsors and fans just wanting to take a ‘selfie’ with a superstar. In McIlroy’s case, he will have no down time because everyone wants a piece of the world’s top golfer.
The Masters is both mentally and physically challenging and professional golfers must make a concerted effort to effectively manage every aspect of their game before teeing it up on April 9th.
Hiding or preparing for The Masters? Only Woods and McIlroy will know for sure. If you ask this pundit, I suggest they are approaching the 2015 Masters in a unique way that they believe will give them the best chance to win.
Regardless, The Masters is only two weeks away and the golfing world is ready for the exciting times that lie ahead.
The Grateful Golfer, Pundit Arena