Rory McIlroy expects The Masters moving to a proposed new November slot this year to improve his chances of completing the career grand slam.
It was announced last week that Augusta National officials intend to stage this year’s tournament in the week beginning November 9. It was originally scheduled to take place last week but was postponed as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
McIlroy, 30, needs just a Green Jacket to become only the sixth player in the history of the game to complete the career grand slam.
Should it go ahead, this year’s trip to Augusta will give him his sixth attempt at joining Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan and Gary Player, as well as Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods, in golf’s most exclusive winners’ club.
Having come up short in each of the past five years – hindered, in part, by the anticipation caused by the eight-month gap between the US PGA and The Masters – the Northern Irishman admits that he is excited to compete for a place in history under rather different circumstances this year.
“There’s anticipation going to Augusta [when it’s] the first big event of the year and there’s all this hype,” he told fellow pro Michelle Wie in an Instagram Live conversation. “I don’t think it’ll feel like that this year. I think it’ll feel a little bit different, which I’m looking forward to.
"It’s going to be a different Masters, and personally, selfishly, maybe that’s what I need to get the jacket.”
McIlroy added that he expects the likely colder, wetter conditions to play into his hands.
“November is going to be different," he said. "It’s going to be cold. The course can play very long. It plays long already but it could play very long. The greens might not be as fast as they usually are in April, depending on the moisture.
“I think it’ll be a different feel as well. It’s the back end of the year as two of the majors have already been played and, hopefully, the Ryder Cup’s already been played. People might be in their routines and in their flow a little bit.”
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