Rory McIlroy claims his game ‘is in good shape’ ahead of the Masters this week as he capped an impressive practice round with a hole-in-one on the 16th at Augusta National.
The 26-year-old Northern Irishman is going into the tournament aiming to become just the sixth player to complete a career grand slam by adding the Masters to his Open Championship, US Open and two PGA Championship titles.
McIlroy came close last year when he finished fourth while a final-round collapse in 2011 cost him massively as he had led the tournament by four shots going into the Sunday, but fired an 80 to finish tied for 15th.
The world number three previously revealed that he will skip this year’s Par 3 Contest before the Masters as he wants to concentrate on the main event.
McIlroy did the same in 2011 and hopes it can help him recreate his form from the opening three rounds that year.
And following the 3&2 win in his practice match against England’s Chris Wood on Monday, with the added extra of the hole-in-one, McIlroy feels this could be the year he gets his hands on an elusive Green Jacket.
He said: “I played well. I feel like my game is in good shape. We both hit just one ball (off the tee). It gets me into a nice mindset of this is how I’m going to play, so I’m going to try to do the same tomorrow, play 18 and a match with someone.
“I feel that’s the best way for me to prepare. It’s competitive. You’re trying to shoot a score. The pins aren’t in the spots where they are going to be at the weekend, but at the same time you still have to get the ball in the hole and hole putts that you feel a little bit of pressure on.”
McIlroy is 9.00 to win the Masters.