Rory McIlroy Masters plan falling into place as he confirms upcoming schedule

Rory McIlroy is in solid form so far this season and he now has four tournaments planned before launching his latest bid to finally win The Masters at Augusta in April






Rory McIlroy has just one thing missing in his incredible career – a green jacket. This year, he’ll head to Augusta National for The Masters desperate to finally get over the line.


McIlroy has had several near-misses and every year there’s a huge focus on the one major he needs to complete a rare career grand slam. This season will be no different, and he makes no secret of the fact he wants to do everything he can to win the historic event.


Last month, McIlroy detailed his plan to add an extra event to his schedule – the Cognizant Classic – in a bid to get himself in the best shape possible for Augusta. After finishing tied for 24th on five-under-par after a solid but unspectacular week at the Genesis Invitational, McIlroy confirmed his upcoming schedule leading into Augusta.


He plans to play three tournaments in Florida – the Cognizant Classic (Feb 29-March 3), Arnold Palmer Invitational (March 7-10) and The Players’ Championship (March 14-17) – before heading to San Antonio for the Texas Open (April 4-7).




That will then lead the Northern Irishman nicely into Augusta for The Masters, which begins on April 11. While there’s a lot of golf still to be played, it appears he feels the plan is falling into place as he is “close” to where he wants to be in terms of his form.


“I think I’m close,” McIlroy declared on CBS after the Genesis Invitational. “I’m not quite where I want to be but it’s one of these courses where precision is so important and putting your ball in the right areas.


“If you’re just slightly off, your weaknesses get magnified this week. But it’s a great test of golf. Now I’ll go home, play the three events in Florida, the Florida swing, then I’ll allow myself to start to think about Augusta.


“I’ll have a few weeks leading into San Antonio, I’ll play there the week before The Masters then have a go at it again.


“I feel like my game’s close. There’s obviously a few big weeks before that coming up for all of us, but I’m excited for the buildup to the first major of the year.


“Augusta’s always a great week. Hopefully I can get myself in contention and try to get that green jacket.”



Speaking earlier this year about his plans, he explained: “This year, in fact, I’m going to play more before The Masters. It will be my ninth or 10th event of the year. Previously, it’s been my sixth or seventh. I’ll hopefully be a bit sharper and know exactly where my game really is.


“The Masters is the Disneyland of golf. You go there, put the Mickey Mouse ears on and get into what it is. And when you leave you snap out of it.


“My big thing about Augusta is just to go in there playing well. The weeks before are important just to get me feeling like I’m in good form.


“I’d love to win it. If I don’t, I probably will look back and think I missed out on something. I did an interview a few years ago when the interviewer asked if I felt like I deserved a green jacket. I don’t deserve anything.


“The game has given me more than enough. I have to go out there and earn it. People can say the course suits my game all they want, I still have to go out there and play the golf.


“I’m on a pretty strong list of players who have won three of the four majors. But I’d like to be on the shorter list of those who have won all four.”



Gideon Canice

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