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Rory McIlroy’s hopes of winning The Masters are over for another year.
The world No.2, one of the pre-tournament favourites for the Green Jacket, has missed the cut at Augusta National.
McIlroy, who needs a win at Augusta National to complete the career grand slam, followed his first round 72 with an error-strewn 77 which left him 17 shots behind leader Brooks Koepka.
He declined to speak to reporters afterwards.
It is the second time in three years that McIlroy has failed to make it to the weekend of The Masters, and the third in 14 career starts in the opening men’s major of the season.
His performance is something a surprise considering the excellent form he has been on for the most part of the last year.
He finished inside the top-10 of all four major championships in 2022 – including a runner-up finish at The Masters – and won both the FedEx Cup and the Race to Dubai.
After a solid start to this year, highlighted by a win in the Dubai Desert Classic, he missed the cut at The PLAYERS Championship last month but appeared to turn a corner again with an impressive showing at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play a fortnight ago where he finished third.
This week’s result means that McIlroy has failed nine times to complete the career grand slam and will need to wait a whole year for another opportunity do so.
Speaking to the media on Tuesday, he revealed that he felt better prepared than ever to win the Green Jacket after playing 81 holes on the course in the preceding two-and-a-half weeks.
“It’s one of the biggest sport tournaments in the world,” he said. “Wherever you rank them, it’s up to you but it’s a major championship. I’ve won four of them. I’ve been knocking on the door for that fifth one for a while.
“I feel like I am as good, if not better a player, as I was the last time I won a major championship. So I’m feeling pretty good about it.”
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