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Published: 09:56 | 7/3/19

McIlroy relaxed ahead of Masters bid


Rory McIlroy is feeling relaxed as he prepares for another attempt at completing the career Grand Slam.

Having already won the The Open, US Open and USPGA Championship, McIlroy will join an illustrious list if he claims the Green Jacket at The Masters next month.

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.

Jordan Spieth and Phil Mickelson can also join the list of Grand Slam winners this year - Spieth needs the USPGA title, while the US Open is the only one missing from Mickelson's list of achievements - and McIlroy believes it would be good for the sport if all three were to do it.

"How good would it be this year if Jordan won the PGA and Phil won the US Open and I won Augusta and three others are put into that group?" McIlroy said ahead of the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

"I mean, how good would that be for golf? That would be awesome. But I think just because it is a small list it would be just that bit cooler to join. It's all about exposure and golf would be right in the centre of all sports stories if that were to happen, which is great for everyone involved in the game."

McIlroy had a four-shot lead going into the final round of the 2011 Masters only for him to shoot an 80 to drop back into a share of 15th. His best result at Augusta National came in 2015 when he finished fourth but he insists he has put his past disappointments behind him.

"It's definitely taken me time to come to terms with the things I've needed to deal with inside my own head, and I think sometimes I'm too much of a fan of the game because I know exactly who has won the Grand Slam and I know exactly the people I would be putting myself alongside," he added.

"It would be a massive achievement, but I can't think about it in that way. I just have to go out and play the golf course the way I know that I can play it and repeat that for four days. Hopefully that's good enough to have the lowest score that week.

"The extra stress that I put myself under that first couple of years, 2015 and 2016, I've become more comfortable with it. I guess I've become a lot more comfortable with the fact that I'm going to fail more times than I succeed.

"I've tried four times, and I've failed. But Abraham Lincoln lost the first 13 elections he was ever in, and he wound up being the President of the United States. So I've still got a bit of time."

The Masters is live on eir sport 1 with coverage from all four days at Augusta National getting underway on Thursday, Apri 11. Subscribe here

Getty Images/Sam Greenwood

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