Football, Rugby, UFC, GAA
All free when you join eir Broadband
Rory McIlroy is pleased with how he is playing as he prepares for another attempt at completing the career Grand Slam.
Having already won The Open, US Open and USPGA Championship, McIlroy will join an illustrious list if he claims the Green Jacket at The Masters at Augusta National this week.
The 29-year-old's previous five attempts to complete the career Grand Slam have fallen short, including last year when he finished six shots adrift of Patrick Reed despite starting the final round just three off the lead, but he remains determined to become only the sixth player to have the full set of major titles.
However, he arrives in Georgia on the back of an impressive run of results - he enjoyed five straight top-six finishes before winning The Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass - and he is feeling happy with his game ahead of the first major of the year.
"You always feel like you're on the right path and whatever you're working on is the way forward. But to get that validation, the win at The Players, the close calls, the good play that I've had over the first four months of the year, it just proves to me that what I'm doing are the right things for me," McIlroy told reporters at Augusta.
"I've found a formula that works for me, and I'm going to persist with it and I'm going to stick to it. It's helped me play some of the best golf of my career so far this year, and hopefully that will continue.
"It's been a wonderful start to the season, and my consistency levels have been as good as they ever have been. I don't think I've ever started a season this well in terms of finishes, and looking at all my stats, they are right up there with some of the best years that I've had."
McIlroy admits he is finally comfortable playing Augusta and he believes that if he can reproduce his recent form he will have every chance of completing the Grand Slam.
"I think it takes a while for to you get comfortable on this golf course and the surroundings. But I have got that comfort level now and it took maybe five or six years to get to that point," he added.
"And I know I've played well enough and I've shot enough good scores around here over the years that, if I can put my best effort forward, I'm going to have a good chance to do well here.
"But my mindset is a little different now. I'm still practising, I'm still getting better, but I'm not getting ahead of myself and not thinking about the tee shot on Thursday or what is to come this week. That is something I probably will never stop trying to learn or to practice, but I'm in a good place with it.
"I keep saying this, but I would dearly love to win this tournament one day. If it doesn't happen this week, that's totally fine, I'll come back next year and have another crack at it. But I'm happy with where everything is; body, mind and game."
The Masters is live on eir sport 1 with coverage from all four days at Augusta National. Coverage gets underway with the Par 3 Tournament on Wednesday, 10 April live on eir sport 1. Subscribe here
Getty Images/Mike Ehrmann