Rory McIlroy cracks jokes about Masters misery: "How do you think I feel?!"

Rory McIlroy has opened up on his Masters struggles, LIV Golf, Tiger Woods and why he was too judgmental of his former Ryder Cup teammates. 

Ben Smith's picture
Wed, 3 Jan 2024
Rory McIlroy cracks jokes about Masters misery: "How do you think I feel?!"

Rory McIlroy has revealed he scuppered his chances at the 47th Masters by obsessing over the leaderboard prematurely. 

McIlroy went into the 2023 Masters with perhaps the most confidence he ever had since blowing a huge lead in 2011 as a bushy-haired 22-year-old. 

But disaster struck as the Ulsterman followed an even par opening round with a 77 to miss the cut for the second time in three years. 

It was a week that began with so much promise but ended with him packing his bags and making a swift exit from Augusta National. 

When McIlroy returns to the cathedral of golf in 2024 he will be making his 16th appearance at the famed venue. 

He opened up on how desperate he is to win the career grand slam on Sky Sports' The Overlap in a discussion with a host of four former Premier League stars.

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One of those, former Arsenal and England striker Ian Wright, revealed he turns off the broadcast every year if McIlroy isn't in contention. 

He also joked when he's gone to the Masters there are 'some people' that can get into difference places just because they've got a green jacket and it irks him. 

McIlroy interjected: "How do you think I feel!?"

Asked how he deals with starting badly at the Masters, McIlroy continued: "They're different sides of the same coin in terms of having to, like, stay in the present and in the moment and all that cliched stuff. 

"So even a good one [start] this year, I shot even par the first day which was like an average enough first day but it wasn't terrible. 

"And I was on the first green on the second morning and Brooks Koepka was coming up the eighth and there's a big white scoreboard by the green and I saw that he had got to 10-under and I'm even par. 

"It's only 19 holes into the tournament but I'm there thinking, 'Jeez, I'm 10 behind already, I have to start pressing.'

"When actually, what's worked best for me is... I can't control what he does, I can't control the leaderboard and the worst thing I did that day was look at the leaderboard because if I hadn't of known... the winning score ended being 10-under."

McIlroy said he thinks he does things at Augusta National that he wouldn't ordinarily do. 

"Because of what it is and all the pressure," he said. "I'm completely open about that and I need to embrace that instead of shutting it away."

McIlroy said he will be playing more tournaments in early 2024 in preparation for the 48th Masters. 

He he would be comfortable with not winning the tournament as he's pleased with his career achievements thus far.

"I never expected to get as far as I have," he said. 

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