Rory McIlroy. A name that has been spoken in the professional golfing world for quite some time now. McIlory carved his way into the record books early in his career, earning wunderkind and prodigy remarks. The elite players of the game bore witness to his achievements and accolades for decades to come. The main question is, will Rory McIlroy ever win The Masters and complete the career grand slam?
The stalwart golfer burst on the golfing scene in 2007 and never looked back. Matching the likes of the Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus, Rory was able to win four PGA Major Championships before hitting the young age of 25, hoisting the trophy at the 2011 U.S. Open, 2012 PGA Championship, 2014 Open Championship, and 2014 PGA Championship. However, the event has eluded McIlroy’s lustrous career awaits him at the end of the shaded driveway of Magnolia Lane in Augusta, Georgia.
The Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Course is the PGA’s prized jewel and is the only missing piece for Rory to capture a career grand slam – winning all four PGA Major Tournaments. Will Rory McIlroy every win The Masters? Well, the course is challenging, and the competition is fierce, as the best players from across the globe set their eyes on the Masters’ Trophy.
Winning this event enters golfers into a fraternity that many spend their entire life dreaming of. With a victory in August, the winner takes home a Green Jacket, which may not seem like much to those outside of the golfing community, but the only way to receive this jacket is to be a member of this exclusive course or be a Masters Champion. Be mindful; you can not simply purchase a membership to Augusta National. You would have to be nominated by a current member, and the club only offers about 300 member positions; for new spots to open, someone would have to decide to no longer be a member or die. Along with their jacket, the victor receives a gold medal, replica trophy, and their name etched into a 123-pound solid silver permanent trophy at the clubhouse.
As you can imagine, the pressure of competing at this event is unrivaled. However, Rory has found himself in the mix at this event several times, most recently at the 2022 Masters, where the 32-year-old finished in second place. Off the heels of a final-round score of eight-under, McIlroy placed himself just three swings away from a playoff as he walked from the 18th green. Second place may have never been sweeter as the young man was still soaking in the cheers from a tremendous birdie holed out of a deep greenside bunker. While this effort was terrific, tieing the final-round Master’s record, one that McIlroy stated was, “Yeah, that’s as happy as I’ve ever been on a golf course right there.” this is not the only memory that he has of this legendary course.
In 2011 Rory McIlroy teed off the final day of the Master’s Tournament with a field-leading four-under-par. However, the day did not with a glorious walk off the 18th green to the clubhouse. The day ended on a much different historical note. On Sunday, April 10th in 2011, Rory McIlroy delivered the worst final round in the history of the Master’s Tournament from the 54-hole leader with a score of 80. A match that McIlroy said would make him stronger by having to endure the results and learn from the experience. The day four results are known everywhere as the 2011 McIlroy Meltdown.
Knowing the gravity of the tournament, the history that McIlroy shares with the course, and the recognition that he has gained for his work ethic, the question remains: Will Rory McIlroy ever win at the Masters? The topic itself is entirely subjective, but let us consider the two events that we mentioned above.
In 2022 Rory showed grit, determination, and ability while playing in Augusta. Although he did not win the tournament, he made the record books again, as only eight golfers have ever shot a 64 on the final day of the Masters. He also found himself a single stroke away from the single-round course record of 63, shared only by Nick Price and Greg Norman.
Rewind to the infamous day four in 2011, Rory stated that he would grow from the experience, and he certainly did not wait long to show that to everyone. Rory raised the U.S. Open trophy two short months later in Bethesda, Maryland, at the renowned Congressional Country Club Blue Course. The victory quickly showcased Rory would not be impacted by the pressures associated with majors in the PGA.
The two events have allowed Rory to experience both ends of the spectrum in Augusta. The most recent round he played showcased that he is still capable of low scores at the Masters. Will he win one before he hangs up the cleats? It’s hard to say, but his next opportunity will be Easter Day of 2023 at Augusta National Golf Course. Rory vows to continue pursuing the career grand slam!