Sport

Masters traffic jam: Contenders galore at Augusta National

Masters traffic jam: Contenders galore at Augusta National

Rory McIlroy is the only player to have finished in the top 10 in each of the last four Masters, but another statistic may well give the world number two cause for concern.

For McIlroy, the win is the only thing that matters to him at Augusta National.

He's not going to have that luxury Sunday in the final round if he's going to claim his first Masters title and complete the career Grand Slam. "And it's hard to get that back, especially with a tough couple of holes like 6 and 7", said McIlroy.

McIlroy was level for the day at the turn as three birdies were negated by a bogey and a double-bogey six at the seventh, and just one gain on the way home meant he signed for a one-under 71.

"My best score round here is 65 and I'm going to need something like that if not lower to have a chance tomorrow", McIlroy said on Saturday night.

"My game feels in good shape".

"Top tens isn't what I'm looking for, but at the same time the ups and downs I've had here in the past don't quite seem to be so up and quite so down. It seems a little more steady and that can only bode well for the future".

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Rory McIlroy was in great position - on the leaderboard, in the fairway, on the green - to make a run in the Masters.

The 27-year-old birdied the 13th, although he missed out at the 15th before atoning with a two at the 16th shortly after watching playing-partner Matt Kuchar make a hole-in-one.

I had a couple of pars when I needed to.

McIlroy, who used to play with Nike Golf clubs before the company went exclusively into footwear and apparel at the end of 2016, is now using the new Titleist Pro V1x ball, Callaway Great Big Bertha Epic Sub Zero driver, TaylorMade M2 fairway woods, prototype Callaway Apex MB irons, Titleist Vokey SM6 wedges and Scotty Cameron putter. "It was very inconsistent, so there's one thing I will change".

"I feel like I play as aggressive as anyone round here. That right now isn't good enough, but it's going in the right direction and every time I come back here I feel like I have more and more of a chance to win". So you really have to focus on yourself and not worry too much about what everyone else is doing.

McIlroy, who is getting married in a fortnight, will return to action at the Players' Championship at Sawgrass before resetting his dial for the season's remaining Majors.


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