Every year prior to the Masters, talk at some point will always turn to Rory McIlroy.
Why? Well, he’s one of the best and most marketable players in the world, for starters, but also there’s the fact that he only needs to win the event in order to complete the career ‘grand slam’ of triumphing in all four majors. Needless to say, plenty of bettors are backing McIlroy when the Masters rolls around each year, and in 2020 he himself to be as short as +1000 to win in the golf betting odds. Unfortunately, it was a case of close but no cigar for the four-time major champion.
— Golfweek (@golfweek) November 15, 2020
It was back in 2011 that the Irishman produced an astonishing performance to win the U.S. Open at Congressional Country Club by eight shots, and a year later he added the PGA Championship to his collection at Kiawah Island.
McIlroy enjoyed a stellar campaign in 2014, once again winning the PGA at Valhalla Golf Club but, more importantly, he outlasted the field in the British Open, taking victory by six shots at the Royal Liverpool club.
Three down, one to go…
With six top-10 finishes at Augusta National in his last seven visits, Rory is getting closer and closer to being the proud recipient of the famous green jacket, but he just can’t quite seem to get over the line – frustrating bettors who believe that the 31-year-old can take care of business in Georgia.
And now the question on every golf fan’s lips is will he ever complete the job in the Masters?
Yes, Rory Will Win The Masters
In conditions that didn’t exactly suit in November, Rory showed just why so many bettors think he will, eventually, win the Masters.
Heavy rain had soaked Augusta National, and even the outstanding Sub Air system that drains the greens couldn’t sponge up all of the moisture.
The result was that the 2020 Masters was played out in easier conditions than normal, with drives and approaches plugging in the ground on impact. McIlroy, more at home on the faster greens and slicker fairways, had his edge taken away from him.
But he stuck at it and, while he added further fuel to a bizarre stat about his opening round in majors – since 2015, he has played his opening 18 holes in a combined +28, compared to -64 in his next three rounds – he rallied by playing the final 54 holes in -14. That’s a score that nobody could better – not even the eventual champion, Dustin Johnson.
April 2021 will be Rory McIlroy’s 7th Masters start needing a win at Augusta to complete the career grand slam.
Updated – McIlroy in majors since 2015:
Round 1, +28
Rounds 2-4, -64
— Justin Ray (@JustinRayGolf) November 15, 2020
If he can eradicate his first-round jitters, Rory will love the more streamlined conditions at Augusta in April, and it’s little wonder that he is among the favorites once more with the sportsbooks.
Sorry Rory, It’s Just Not Going to Happen
Rory has the game to tame Augusta, that much is obvious, but how impactful are the mental scars of coming so close to winning the Masters but falling short each time?
Any athlete, no matter what their discipline, cannot be immune to the fear of failure, and clearly such feelings are exacerbated when you’re in the unique position that McIlroy finds himself in.
Perhaps the perspective of becoming a husband and a father in recent times will have a stabilising effect – after all, golf is less of a priority these days – but every time Rory takes to the first tee at Augusta National he is going to feel the weight of history on his shoulders.
And that, sadly, maybe one reason why golf bettors should steer clear of the Irishman when making their selections for the April showpiece.