McIlroy gunning for fifth major

2015-04-05 15:16

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Will the world’s top golfer, Rory McIlroy, this year add a fifth major to his record – the only one he has never won?

This will be answered after the final round of the US Masters on Sunday. The first major of the year tees off at the Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia from Thursday.

The world’s finest golfers will put their skills to the test in the four-day event, one of the most prestigious on the golfing calendar.

For the 25-year-old Northern Irishman, winning the Masters will be an opportunity to add another big title to his distinguished golfing record.

Such an achievement will enable him to join a select group of players who have won all four big golfing tournaments. It will also earn McIlroy the honour of donning the famous green jacket for the first time.

He has swept the championships of golf’s three other majors: the US Open (2011), British Open (2012) and PGA Championship (2012 and 2014).

McIlroy will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of Tiger Woods who, until a few years ago, swept all the majors, eventually winning 14.

With Woods relegated by injury to his worst career rating – 104th this week – McIlroy is ruling the roost. But Woods confirmed on Friday that he will play.

But the Augusta Golf Club – notorious for punishing players on its meandering fairways – will be particularly challenging. McIlroy’s best result to date has been a tie for eighth. Its famous Amen Corner, the nickname given to the difficult water holes – 11, 12 and 13 – will give players plenty to think about.

McIlroy will have to overcome the hurdle of those tricky holes to be crowned Masters champion.

A fierce debate on whether the Augusta course favours left-handed players has been taking place in golfing circles.

The argument is supported by the success of Americans Bubba Watson and Phil Mickelson, both of whom have won the event twice. Watson prevailed in 2012 and 2014, while Mickelson took the honours in 2004 and 2006.

South Africans have been battling to repeat their recent glories in the Masters. Trevor Immelman won (-8) in 2008 and Charl Schwartzel (-14) in 2011.

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