Rory McIlroy was much-fancied to end his quest for a Green Jacket this year, yet it's been a disappointing week at Augusta for the Ulsterman

Wait For Green Jacket Continues For McIlroy

As the big names began to cluster on Sunday afternoon’s leaderboard, one name was conspicuous by its absence. Rory McIlroy leaves Augusta still craving a Green Jacket and the much-talked about Grand Slam after enduring a disappointing week at the 2019 US Masters.

In 12 months’ time he’ll face the same questions he’s been answering since winning The Open in 2014 – variations of ‘What do you need to do to win at Augusta?’ Questions like this are unlikely to cause the Ulsterman a headache. After all, a Masters victory would make him just the sixth player in the history of the game to win all four Major titles. There are worse positions to be in.

“I keep saying this, I would dearly love to win this tournament one day,” said McIlroy on the eve of the tournament. “If it doesn’t happen this week, that’s totally fine, I’ll come back next year and have another crack at it. But I’m happy with where everything is, body, mind, game.”

McIlroy is saying all the right things, perhaps to alleviate the pressure that accompanies being on the verge of such an historic achievement. However, there are those who will question whether he has what it takes to win at Augusta – and only a victory will silence the doubters.

His record at the US Masters does more than suggest he has the game to prevail at Augusta. Indeed, this year’s T21 is the first time he’s finished outside the top ten since 2013. If you were to design a golf course specifically to suit McIlroy’s game, it would look something like Augusta National, a course that rewards the very best ball strikers – and he’s certainly one of those.

It’s the putting that remains a concern. When Rory is hot, he’s really hot, but when the doubts creep in, his stroke is far less assured. This is when his patience becomes frayed and he loses that skip in his step. He’ll have plenty more cracks at the Grand Slam. For now, at least, it’s back to the drawing board.

Wait For Green Jacket Continues For McIlroy

Wait For Green Jacket Continues For McIlroy: Augusta, 2011 [Getty Images]

Rory McIlroy Masters Record

2018: T5
2017: T7
2016: T10
2015: 4
2014: T8
2013: T25
2012: T40
2011: T15
2010: MC
2009: T20