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Back in 2000, Tiger Woods became the fifth and most recent player in the Masters era to achieve the career grand slam.

Nineteen years on, 2002 US PGA champion and Sky Sports pundit Rich Beem is predicting that Rory McIlroy will become the latest member of the elite club by winning the Masters.

It follows a number of close calls for the Northern Irishman at Augusta National. In 2011, he surrendered a four-shot 54-hole lead by shooting a final round 80, while last year, he faded playing in the final group on Sunday alongside eventual champion Patrick Reed, shooting a two-over-par 74 to finish in a tie for fifth.

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“I’ve said it before, but I think it’s Rory’s time this year,” he told “There’s hardly a golf course out there that he can’t navigate his way around and Augusta National is right up there with the best suited to him.

Rory Mc Ilroy Patrick Reed

“He’s not afraid to hit a draw; up there with the best of them and he’s a great long and mid-iron player. His short irons aren’t great but they’re getting better but, depending on how you play the par-5s, you probably only have three short irons into some of the holes.

“I just think that his game, he’s got the firepower to go out and really take it to Augusta National and win it.”

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The other two active players who are just one major win away from completing the career grand slam are Phil Mickelson and Jordan Spieth, who need wins at the US Open and US PGA Championship respectively.

“For Phil, the US Opens aren’t getting any easier and I find it remarkable that considering where he hits it, that he has six runner-up finishes,” continued Beem.

Jordan Spieth Phil Mickelson

“He hits some foul balls out there but to do it at US Opens and contend, that’s pretty remarkable.

“As for Jordan, his game is not quite there right now. I don’t know what’s not clicking right now, whether it’s confidence with the putter, his ball-striking or he’s searching for something that he doesn’t need to. However, it does look like he’s starting to feel it again a little bit.

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“Bethpage Black would be a decent place for him because he hits it long enough but I see him as more of a Kiawah Island kind of guy [the US PGA heads there in 2021], because it’s a little bit wider off the tee and he can use his imagination a bit more with the second shot and on the greens.”

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