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Brennan's Brief Hate to say 'I told you' - why I knew Rory McIlroy wouldn't string four good Masters rounds together


Rory McIlroy could have easily won the Masters last week only for his first day blues

Rory McIlroy could have easily won the Masters last week only for his first day blues

Rory McIlroy could have easily won the Masters last week only for his first day blues

It’s easy to be right after the event, but we told you so before it happened.

Yes, 12 days ago, I wrote in the Sunday World and online here that Rory McIlroy’s problem at Augusta, as he sought to complete Golf’s Grand Slam with a Masters win, was not that he couldn’t play the course, but that he just could not string four good rounds together on four successive days.

In the words of Britney Spears, ‘Oops….I Did it Again’.

For those who thought Dustin Johnson was unbeatable at the Masters last week, actually Rory was one shot better than DJ over the last three rounds. It was just that Ireland’s golfing superstar had handicapped himself by shooting a 75 on the first day. A day on which the best of the rest of world golf were tearing apart a rain-soaked course.

McIlroy had no chance after a start like that. He’s done it before on the first day too, and he’s done it on each other day, including, spectacularly, on the last day in 2011, when he was leading the tournament by four shots with nine holes to play.

Someday he will put it all together and win this thing. At 31, he has many more chances left and must take heart from the Johnson win. At 36, Dustin has been trying for a Green Jacket, on a course that so obviously suits him, for so much longer than Rory - and things finally came together for the 6ft 4ins American.

It could happen as soon as next April, Covid-permitting, when the Masters returns to its normal date. But, there's one man who will be as desperate to win that tournament as much as Rory - Tiger Woods.

When Tiger went from June 2008 to April 2019 without winning a Major, he was injured for much of that time. All of world sport thought that his race was run when it came to moving from 14 Major victories to the 18 that is Jack Nicklaus’ mark, a total the golf world believed impregnable.

Victory at Augusta 19 months ago carried Tiger to 15. But he really needed to win last week’s Masters, or else next April’s tournament, if he is to have any chance of catching Jack.

Tiger hinted, didn’t say, but hinted, last week that his ailing back means his golf future is very much day-to-day. That day may come soon when the stress on the bones and muscle in that area of his body means he won’t be able to do the practice needed to get out there and compete with a bunch of golf’s young guns who are driving the ball miles.

If he gets to Augusta next April in good shape, then he will give it a mighty go. And he won’t have a 10 at one hole either. He can leave that to us weekend golfers, it we could get out at the weekend.

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