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Rory ready to play Masters mind games

 

Rory McIlroy
Rory McIlroy

By Vincent Hogan

Rory McIlroy has vowed to shut out thoughts of a career Grand Slam as he makes his 11th bid for a Masters green jacket this week.

“That’s definitely not a good place (mentally) to be in,” he insisted last night of the pressure to join a select list of just five players who have won all four Majors in their careers.

“It’s not just about one week. This is a lifelong journey of trying to improve and learn.”

Holywood’s McIlroy, who begins his latest bid for Masters glory at 4.15pm UK time tomorrow alongside American Rickie Fowler and Australian Cameron Smith, comes to Augusta National once again as the tournament favourite.

And in an extraordinarily philosophical Press conference, he spoke about how the use of meditation, ball juggling, candid chats with putting guru Brad Faxon and even visits to the Central Institute for Human Performance in Jupiter, Florida as part of his new mental approach have helped him make a flying start to 2019.

“Look, I’m not going to go and live with the monks for a couple of months in Nepal,” he joked while confirming that CIHP medical director, Dr Clayton Skaggs, is part of his entourage this week.

Admitting that he meditated for 20 minutes before his final round in the Players Championship last month, McIlroy insisted: “I’m happy with where everything is, body, mind, game.”

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