Phil Mickelson says Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth both have plenty of time to get their Grand Slams done and dusted.
But that won’t feel like much consolation to the Northern Irishman.
McIlroy will have to wait another twelve months before sealing the career grand slam after he fired a closing two-over 74 in the final round to finish in a tie for fifth alongside Cameron Smith, Bubba Watson and Henrik Stenson.
In the years he’s had the opportunity to seal the grand slam, McIlroy has come to Augusta and finished fourth, tenth, seventh and now fifth.
Mickelson – himself needing the US Open to win his own grand slam - said it was only a matter of time for the Northern Irishman.
The 28-year-old McIlroy tried a little early jabbing in the Augusta press centre late last night by suggesting the pressure was all on Patrick Reed. Rory said he’d already won a few majors whilst his playing partner was going for his first.
“The pressure’s all on him,” said McIlroy, much to the amusement of the media.
But that was about as much jabbing as McIlroy could muster. He just didn’t play well, and had a disappointing day on the greens, missing four times from inside eight feet on the front nine.
That kind of showing doesn’t get you much at Augusta and he was effectively out of the race after a costly bogey at the par-5 eighth.
“Every time I took a step forward, I took a step back on the next,” said McIlroy. “I had a chance to put pressure on him and it could have been a different story. “It’s frustrating. It’s hard to take any positives from it right now, but at least I put myself in the position. That's all I wanted to do.
Just an observation but how far left is Rory aiming today.?!— Lee Westwood (@WestwoodLee) April 8, 2018
“The last four years I've had top-tens but I haven’t been close enough to the lead. Today I got myself there. I didn’t quite do enough. But, you know, come back again next year and try.
“I’ll sit down and reflect over the next few days and see what I could have potentially done better. More whether it be mind-set or, I don't know, I just didn’t quite have it today. I played some great golf yesterday. I just didn’t continue that golf into today.”
He added: “I hit some good shots out there but I feel like momentum is huge thing. Look at what Jordan and Rickie did, they got on a roll and I didn’t.”