The Masters: Tiger Woods could focus pre-tournament work on Rory McIlroy’s

Rory McIlroy said Tiger Woods' return to the Masters has made it easier for others to prepare because they have less attention and have also touched on his rush for the Grand Slam over the years.

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Rory McIlroy said Tiger Woods’ return to the Masters has made it easier for others to prepare because they have less attention and have also touched on his rush for the Grand Slam over the years.

Rory McIlroy said Tiger Woods’ return to the Masters has made it easier for others to prepare because they have less attention and have also touched on his rush for the Grand Slam over the years.

Can pre-tournament focus on Tiger Woods help Rory McIlroy’s Grand Slam chances? Who will impress at Augusta National? Butch Harmon looks forward to the first men’s major of the year …

The interesting thing about this year’s event is that it’s hard to pick a favorite. Most of the world’s top ten have yet to win a tournament this year. This is a very wide-open masters for a change.

You see John Rahm and Colin Marikawa, both of whom did not win. Scottie Scheffler has won three times in the last few months and Cameron Smith has won The Players, but most of the others in the top 10 have yet to win anything.

McIlroy says playing a negative, less aggressive game on Sunday is a smart game plan because he believes it's important to stay disciplined in the first 54 holes.

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McIlroy says playing a negative, less aggressive game on Sunday is a smart game plan because he believes it’s important to stay disciplined in the first 54 holes.

McIlroy says playing a negative, less aggressive game on Sunday is a smart game plan because he believes it’s important to stay disciplined in the first 54 holes.

If we had 100 pounds we could guarantee who would win, I don’t think we could come up with one. In the past, it wasn’t that hard to pick, because you look at a lot of people who have been successful there before.

Take a look at some of the guys who haven’t played this week: You have Phil Mickelson, Jason Day, and then you have Ricky Fowler, Martin Kymer, Ian Poulter, Henrik Stenson, and Matt Kutcher, who have always been in controversy but not at this year’s event!

This is a very unusual masters and I think it is going to be exciting.

Masters – Live

April 7, 2022, 2:00 pm

Survival

McIlroy going under the radar?

The one we should be talking about is Rory McIlroy, who has had the opportunity to complete a career Grand Slam. I actually think the way the Tigers situation has dominated this week and no really favorite team is coming, it could work for McIlroy.

Some heat from McIlroy will be off, though there’s still a lot to talk about because people will want to see it happen. He has passed somewhat this year, in terms of build-up and how much people are pressuring him, but he still has to go out and compete.

Woods and McIlroy share a conversation as they both practice in Augusta ahead of this week's Masters.

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Woods and McIlroy share a conversation as they both practice in Augusta ahead of this week’s Masters.

Woods and McIlroy share a conversation as they both practice in Augusta ahead of this week’s Masters.

We all know McIlroy’s game is made for Augusta, because he is a high-ball hitter and a decent driver of the ball. The two things you need to do well to win in Augusta is to run the ball well and be a good potter, McIlroy is currently doing better than what we have seen for a long time.

I like the possibility of McIlroy, but the question you have to think about is whether there is scar tissue and whether there is something behind his mind about the Masters. Some superstars haven’t played up to their superstar status and this will probably give him a bit more hope.

Woods has announced his intention to play for The Masters this week, believing he can win in August.

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Woods has announced his intention to play for The Masters this week, believing he can win in August.

Woods has announced his intention to play for The Masters this week, believing he can win in August.

It takes a very strong-built person to handle the pressure that people in the upper echelons of golf have to go through. I would love to see Rory McIlroy win The Masters, because he deserves to win a Grand Slam and is one of the greatest players we’ve had in our game in the last 30 or 40 years.

Another new Masters winner?

Sheffler is in excellent form at the event and it puts a lot of pressure on him, as he has never been in this position and has never had to deal with media pressure to be number one in the world.

How is he going to handle it? This is going to be a big week for him as he is going to be the No. 1 guy in the press room except for the Tiger Woods story.

Scott Scheffler, the world number one, says Woods' presence in August allowed him to

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Scott Scheffler, the world number one, says Woods’ presence in August allowed him to “fly under the radar” at The Masters.

Scott Scheffler, the world number one, says Woods’ presence in August allowed him to “fly under the radar” at The Masters.

One of the things we probably talked about a month ago was that John Rahm is coming to The Masters as a pre-tournament favorite, but surprisingly he hasn’t won any events yet this year. It tells us the quality of the field at these events and how good these young players are.

On this year’s PGA Tour, almost every winner is in their 20s, so these kids are coming and playing well. In golf, of course, the guard has changed, no doubt, but is there going to be a change of guard at Augusta National this year? There is every opportunity …

Watch the Masters live on Sky Sports exclusively throughout the week. Live coverage with featured groups begins at 2pm on Thursday at Sky Sports Golf.

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