"Chalk and cheese" Rory McIlroy reveals slight tweak to Masters prep

Rory McIlroy has been speaking about his Masters preparation as he bids for the Grand Slam.

Ben Smith's picture
Thu, 31 Mar 2022
"Chalk and cheese" Rory McIlroy reveals slight tweak to Masters prep

Rory McIlroy has revealed there is a slight tweak to his Masters approach this year: the absence "cramming" in preparation. 

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Typically the Northern Irishman will arrive early and get in plenty of practice rounds, but this year he changed things up. 

McIlroy arrived to Augusta National earlier this week for a brief scouting mission on the same day Tiger Woods jetted into town. 

The 32-year-old Northern Irishman would not be drawn into saying whether or not he thinks Woods, 46, will make a sensational comeback. 

He did, however, say it would be phenomenal if Woods were to play and that it was great have the 15-time major champion back around the game. 

McIlroy said when asked if he had changed anything this year with regard to his preparations: "Yeah, I mean, a little bit, I guess. I was at Augusta the last couple of days and I just went there on my own.

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"I didn't go with any members, I didn't -- I didn't sort of do the whole stay on property. I just wanted to come and see the golf course.

"Obviously there's some changes to the golf course on 11 and 15. Three new greens, 3, 13 and 17 are all brand new greens.

"I just wanted to go there and just see that for myself and sort of do a little bit of a scouting trip that I haven't really done the last couple years.

"That's a little different maybe. But it was good to be there, good to see the place.

"At least coming into this event and playing this week, I don't feel like there's a rush to get there next week and cram and prepare.

"I feel like I've already done most of my work, which is a nice feeling." 

If McIlroy were to win the first major of the year he would complete the Grand Slam. 

He has had several chances to win at Augusta but he has frustratingly seen them slip through his fingers.

Perhaps the 2011 Masters is the one that really got away. 

Aged 21, he had won at Quail Hollow and recorded nine top-10s on the European Tour and was No.7 in the OWGR. 

He had also played a key role in Europe's Ryder Cup win at Celtic Manor in 2010. He was in sensational form. 

But McIlroy endured an incredible collapse which included four-putting the 12th hole as he threw away a four-shot lead. 

McIlroy was asked if he feels he is in a much better spot this year compared to last year. 

He said: "Yeah, chalk and cheese.

"Actually, I wanted to play this event [the Texas Valero Open] last year, but after The Players and the Match Play, I felt like it was better for me to just work on my swing at home and just work on my game because at least I had an opportunity to do that going into Augusta.

"So yeah, it's way different. I'm way more comfortable with my game, I'm happy with where everything is. Everything seems like it's a lot more settled."

McIlroy can be found at 14/1 to win the 2022 Masters. 

Will this year be the year for McIlroy?

Next page: PGA Tour pro reduced to tears after blowing 54-hole lead