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Published: 10:28 | 6/4/16

Watson: McIlroy is my pick


Tom Watson has tipped Rory McIlroy to claim the coveted Green Jacket and complete the career grand slam at this week's Masters.

McIlroy missed the chance to become the sixth players to winner all four major titles when he finished fourth at Augusta National last year but is once again among the favourites to win the Green Jacket this weekend.

Watson knows what it takes to win at Augusta - he was champion in 1977 and 1981 - and as he prepares for his last appearance at the Masters, the former Ryder Cup captain believes McIlroy has what it takes to succeed at the Georgia venue.

"He's the guy. He's my pick this week. He's just got a tremendous talent. He hits the ball high. I think it's always been an advantage to hit the ball high on this golf course," Watson told reporters.

"And I can tell you the golf course is different this year than it was last year. The greens are faster yesterday and today than they were last year. They sped them up. They seem just a little bit harder.

"Today (Tuesday) they had a real sheen to them. Number five was like a mirror. They are out there syringing the greens, so I think you're seeing a little bit different set-up this year. I think it's going to be a tougher set-up. And the people that hit the ball high, they have an advantage.

"Rory, he can emasculate a golf course, he flat (out) can. He hits the ball high and so far."

Much was expected of McIlroy 12 months ago but it was Jordan Spieth who ended the week as champion and the four-time major champion admits he allowed the pressure to get to him.

"I feel like last year I didn't do much wrong really," McIlroy said at a press conference. "I played well. I finished 12 under par for the tournament. But I was three over after 27 holes and that's not going to get it done.

"I think part of that was having so much expectation and thinking of the grand slam and thinking of the Masters, where I needed to just take a step back and relax and go out and try and play my own game.

"Someone once told me pressure is for tyres. The pressure I should feel is the pressure I put on myself and any outside influences, it shouldn't really come into play.

"This course is well suited for me. I don't need anyone to tell me that. So it should make me more comfortable knowing that I can go out and play my game, and that's why I want to be as relaxed as possible. Because if I am, it means that when I go out there, I can let my game just flow and express itself and if I can do that around this golf course, I feel like I can have a week like I've had in majors before and win."


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