McIlroy seeks to break through – finally – at Augusta National

McIlroy seeks first green jacket at Augusta

Rory McIlroy

Hard as it may be to believe, Rory McIlroy has never won a Masters Tournament.

Indeed, while the 31-year-old native of Northern Ireland has four major championships and a slew of other accolates to his credit, the coveted green jacket that goes to the winner of the golf year’s traditional first major is not among them. And he’s ready to complete that career grand slam.

He’s finished in the top 10 in six of his last seven outings at Augusta National, with career bests of a fourth-place finish in 2015 and ties for fifth in 2018 and last year. True, he also had a disheartening final round collapse in 2011, which relegated him to 15th after building a four-stroke lead after 56 holes. But that shouldn’t take away from his more recent stellar play on the florid Georgia course.

History says the first round is McIlroy’s undoing at Augusta National and that certainly held true last year as he opened the tournament with a 3-over 75. He then identified a flaw in his swing and came back to shoot a 66 and 67 in the second and third. But by the time the fourth round started, it was too late. His 69 on the last 18 holes was nowhere near enough to overcome a record-setting performance by Dustin Johnson, who shot a 20-under 268 over 72 holes to win by five strokes, nine ahead of McIlroy.

So it seems if McIlroy can avoid the first-round yips, a title at Augusta can be his.
He also hopes the number 13 will prove lucky this year as he goes against the PGA’s top players in his 13th career start in the Masters Tournament, which airs Thursday through Sunday, April 8-11, on ESPN and CBS.

Player Profile

Rory McIlroy

Name: Rory McIlroy

Birth date: May 4, 1989

Birthplace: Holywood, Northern Ireland

Height/weight: 5 feet 10 inches/160 pounds

Family ties: Parents Gerry and Rosie McIlroy worked extra jobs and shifts to pay for their son’s golf development; married former PGA of America employee Erica Stoll in April 2017

Turned Pro: 2007

PGA Tour wins: 18

Honors and Achievements: U.S. Open champion (2011); The Open Championship winner (2014), PGA Championship winner (2012, 2014); PGA Tour Player of the Year (2012, 2014, 2019); PGA Tour leading money winner (2012, 2014); FedEx Cup champion (2016)

Did you know?: Is a recipient of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire

George Dickie

George Dickie

George Dickie has been a features writer for Gracenote/Tribune Media Services since 1989, when “Hee-Haw” was still on the air and George “Goober” Lindsay was his first interview. His early interviews ranged from Jim Henson and Dick Van Dyke to Phil Collins and the Dixie Chicks.

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