Rory McIlroy bids to join the greats with victory at The Masters
Last Updated: 02/04/15 5:56pm
Rory McIlroy stands on the verge of history as he bids to join an elite group of five golfing legends by completing a career grand slam at the Masters next week.
The world No 1 has only one top-10 finish at Augusta and famously blew a four-shot lead in 2011 after his spectacular final-day meltdown, dropping six shots in three holes from the 10th and eventually signing for a horrific 80.
But McIlroy's game is ideally suited to the course, and he will arrive as the favourite to join Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and Tiger Woods as the only golfers to win all four majors.
"I'm going to Augusta with the chance of winning a career grand slam, to win my fifth major, to win three in a row and then maybe hold all four if I can win the US Open," he told Sky Sports News HQ. "It's huge things we're talking about here."
Player is the only non-American to have a full set of majors in his collection of nine, and he believes McIlroy will be the next.
"I said a long time ago that Rory would be the next man to win the grand slam," said the South African. "The Masters is ideally suited to him, as hit hits a high draw. He's got so much talent."
Ryder Cup captain and compatriot Darren Clarke is also confident that McIlroy will win at least one Masters title, adding: "His high draw around there will be perfectly suited to the golf course. Whether he wins it this year, or in years to come, Rory will complete the grand slam sooner or later."
McIlroy has not been at the top of his game following his spectacular 2014 season, in which he lifted his first Open Championship crown at Hoylake before clinching his second US PGA Championship title at Valhalla in August.
The 25-year-old did manage to win a second Dubai Desert Classic title, but he missed the cut in his first PGA Tour start at the Honda Classic in Florida.
McIlroy tied for ninth in the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral and finished 11th on his debut at the Arnold Palmer Invitational before taking a fortnight off to prepare for the first major of the season.
Don't miss out special documentary - Destiny Calling - Rory and the Slam. Catch it on Monday at 2.30pm and Tuesday at 6.30pm on Sky Sports 4 - your home of golf.