Rory McIlroy is ready to embark on a career Grand Slam

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Rory McIlroy went for the daring play, even if it turned out to be a bit different.

asked how he offered four unfulfilled attempts to complete golf career Grand Slam, McIlroy a historical reference as a perspective.

"I think I have become much more comfortable with the fact that I will fail more than I succeed in that particular conquest," he said, pointing out that Abraham Lincoln even lost some elections. & # 39; He ended up as President of the United States, & # 39; McIlroy said. "So I still have a little time."

McIlroy knows the select brotherhood with which he would participate if he added a Masters to the titles he had already won at the Open, British Open and P.G.A. Championship. The entire series of majors has been captured by just five men, including Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods.

Also this year, Jordan Spieth can achieve a career Grand Slam in the following week P.G.A. Championship and Phil Mickelson can open in the United States in June. But it's McIlroy who is the first to play at the Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia.

"I know exactly the people I would like to dedicate myself to," he said. "It would be huge. But again, I can't think about it that way."

He's been on the roll lately. Even for someone who seems to have a lot of time (McIlroy is 29), the momentum he brings in the first major of this year is rare.

Last month's single-tax victory at the Players Championship series of six begins to open in 2019, ending no lower than the sixth. He also reached the round of 16 at the WGC Match Play in March, eliminated in the 17th hole of a tense battle with Woods.

"Right now it's all Rory McIlroy," said Paul Azinger, NBC & # 39; s leading golf analyst. "He has a fight every week. We criticized him when he didn't win, and he goes on and wins the biggest event in the PGA Tour."

"You just get the feeling that it's a big Rory year "

Although McIlroy is number three on the world ranking, behind Dustin Johnson and Justin Rose, no one has collected rankings since the calendar.

"When his mind is right and he sets well," said Jason Day, who will also play with the Masters, "I think he is explosive."

McIlroy has a skill shown to pile up victories in bunches. From 2012 to 2015, he collected 14 worldwide, including three of his four major championships. He was second on 12 other occasions during that period.

That said, McIlroy & # 39; s current success has been characterized by a different behavior and he is calm when he considers the big picture. Tournament results may vary, but performance is the benchmark.

"You will not be frustrated by good golf," he said.

Even with a green coat – and permanent access in golf history – at stake?

"There is a difference between a personal desire and a need," McIlroy said. "I said a few years ago:" I have to win a Masters. I need a green jacket & # 39 ;. Now it is: & # 39; I want to win it. I'd like to win it. But if I don't do that, I'll be fine. & # 39; And I think that's the difference. & # 39;

Success by McIlroy, Spieth or Mickelson would elevate them to a stratosphere that is only occupied by Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Gary Player, Nicklaus and Woods.

"When I first came out, I just wanted to win every major," Mickelson said at the US Open last year. "Every major would have been great. Now that I have won the other three majors, it is specific to the US Open. I would like to win this to win all four. That is certainly a goal and nothing that I shy away from."

McIlroy said it would be great if all three golfers reached the Grand Slam.

"How good would it be this year if Jordan won the PGA and Phil won the American Open and I won Augusta?" McIlroy said. "Golf would be right in the middle of all sports stories if that happened."

McIlroy not only leads the search, he is also widely viewed by analysts to have the best chance to break through.

"If I were a gambling figure, I bet he will get it," said Jim Mackay, now an NBC analyst after two decades as Mickelson & caddy.

A few years ago, such expectations may have influenced McIlroy. This is his fifth trip to Augusta in which the masters beckoned the only missing piece from his large collection.

Each of his four previous masters had left McIlroy exactly six hits with the winner. His last position varied from a fourth to a tenth share, but the six-shot gap was unwavering.

His biggest call came last year just to close the most disappointing one. Trailing Patrick Reed at three and playing alongside him in the final clutch, McIlroy cut into the backlog of the first hole and looked at a short eagle spit at Nr. 2 who could even have drawn him.

McIlroy missed, tumbled to a final 74 and finished with a share of the fifth.

"That's when you really have to preach patience," McIlroy said. "You know the wave is there; it just lets go of wave when it really matters. I almost have to take my foot off the gas and just let it happen. And of course that's easier said than done."

Then he only has to look at the past few months to see how the process can pay off.

Although he was unable to sound first against Xander Schauffele & # 39; s accusation in Kapalua in January, against Johnson in Mexico in February or in his own lack of birdie opportunities in March on the last day on Bay Hill in Florida, McIlroy hit on positives.

Then when victory finally arrived at the players, his reaction, a weak fist pump, was subdued.

"It has a focus in the past six of seven months on my attitude, especially my attitude to golf," said McIlroy, who married shortly after the 2017 Masters. "Don't let golf determine who I am as a person, and try to keep the two things apart."

It is a mentality that some players only reach long after their 29th. it seems McIlroy has freed himself to play the most consistent wave of his career. It can yield a green jacket, but if not, he is willing to deal with it.

"All you are trying to do is get that ball in the hole at the end of the day," he said. "If you feel that you are doing it right, what is there to be frustrated?"

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