Meditation, juggling and mind training – Rory McIlroy about his new mindset

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Masters Memories 2018: McIlroy & # 39; roaring & # 39; after amazing eagle chip

2019 MastersDates: 11-14 April Location: Augusta NationalCoverage: view highlights of the first two days for uninterrupted live coverage of the final rounds on BBC Two, with up to four live streams online. Live radio and text commentary of all four days on BBC Radio 5 Live, Sport Extra, BBC Sport website and mobile app. All the details

Rory McIlroy hopes that a regime of meditation, juggling and mind training will help win a first Masters title.

The new attitude to life of the 29-year-old Northern Irish man helped him start the year with seven top 10 finishes and a victory at the Players Championship.

"I don't think I've ever started a season that well," said McIlroy, who only needs the Masters to get a Grand Slam career or important titles.

"It focuses on the little things and not living or dying from the results."

McIlroy has won the Open, US Open and US PGA Championship (twice) and will become the sixth man in history to have won all four majors if he wins at Augusta National.

However, his last win in a major was in 2014.

"A change in attitude was one of the biggest keys to how I played the first few months of the year," McIlroy added , which ends on Thursday at 4:15 PM BST together with the American Rickie Fowler.

"The point is that you do not get caught in trying to play perfect golf."

& # 39; Juggling is catching on & # 39;

Meditation has played a role, but McIlroy wanted to point out that it will not take over his life.

"Look, I'm not going to live a few months with the monks in Nepal," he smiled. "I meditated 20 minutes on the Sunday morning of the Players Championship and my routine now consists of meditation, juggling and mind training, where I do everything to get you in the right place.

" I watched the Augusta National Women & # 39; s Amateur on the weekend and I saw a few women on the range juggling handle, so it caught. "

McIlroy says he is a" rookie "who can only juggle three balls at a time and also explain that he has read books on sports psychology while working on the PGA Tour Brad Faxon with eight-time winner about the mental side of the game.

He will also have a doctor with him in Augusta National this week and say that his old friend and caddy Harry Diamond "have been with me every step of the journey on this journey ".

" It comes to the point that I spend almost more time practicing my mind — rather than being on the range, "McIlroy added.

" and that has been a great help because he is a calming presence and we feel like a team trying to make good scores and win tournaments. "

McIlroy, who had his best chance of winning the tournament in 2011, when he was led by four shots that entered the final round but dropped six shots in three holes at the start of the back nine to fading, has finished in the top 10 in each of his five previous Masters.

"If I haven't figured out the course yet, there is something wrong," he said on the eve of his eleventh appearance.

"I feel comfortable on this golf course, it forces you to be creative and I love that side of the game. I like to see pictures, to visualize and that is one of the real nice things about this place. "

Rahm discloses Mickelson advice

No player in & # 39; the world's top 10 – including Jon Rahm – has won the Masters

No player in today's top 10 has won the Masters – a statute that includes Francesco Molinari from Italy – seventh – and Spaniard Jon Rahm as eighth.

Molinari has had a star in the last 12 months, including a victory at the Open Championship at Carnoustie and success at the PGA Championship of the European Tour, a first PGA Tour victory at the Quicken Loans National and another victory at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in March.

"It took a while, but now there is often success, which is a great feeling," said the 36-year-old, who has a best finish from the equalizer for the 19th in Augusta.

"I am no longer a spring chicken so I have to make the best of it." What has let me down in the past is a tough test because of the speed, so I hope to show the progress I have made in recent months and to deliver a good performance this week. "

Meanwhile, Rahm is frustrated about taking questions about the same subject for" the 10,000th time "as he prepares for a first important title.

The temperament of the 24-year-old has been questioned, with more criticism on his path after he ignored his caddy's advice before flying into the water when he was in the Players Championship race last month.

Rachm asked for advice that he has received from triple Masters champion Phil Mickelson: "He said repeatedly: & # 39; You don't have to play perfectly in Augusta National to win & # 39 ;.

"I started thinking," I always thought you had to play real, really, really quality golf to make a maj of championship & # 39; And he said: & # 39; Yes, but you don't have to play perfectly. & # 39;

"It's just how I am. I am a very passionate person in everything I do, for the good and the bad."

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