Time of reckoning: Will this be Rory McIlroy’s year at the Masters?

It seems as though we ask the same question year after year: Will Rory McIlroy finally win the Masters and become the sixth man to complete golf’s career grand slam of major championship triumphs?

As of yet, the answer has always been no. For some reason, McIlroy has been unable to produce his golf at Augusta National, and the Northern Irishman is usually left scratching his head as he searches for the reasons why his form seems to desert him at the Masters.

This year, McIlroy will again be touted on sites like Betdaq to claim his maiden green jacket, but his form this season, and indeed his record in the majors of late, do not exactly suggest that he will have a huge part to play when push comes to shove on Sunday afternoon at Augusta.

You have to go all the way back to 2014 to find the last time McIlroy triumphed at a major championship, and there is a sense that for every year that passes, he gets further away from actually claiming one of golf’s big four titles. There’s no doubt that the pressure of performing under the weight of such high expectations has affected his game at times, and that is certainly true of his displays at the Masters.

The best McIlroy has managed at Augusta is a fourth-place finish, and although he has ended up in the top 10 on a number of occasions, he’s never quite been able to rise above his competitors in the final round.

It must be remembered that winning any major championship is incredibly difficult. The fact that McIlroy managed to get his hands on four in the space of four seasons demonstrates the immense talent he possesses. The only problem is that the winning run has created perhaps unrealistic expectations, and the pressure on the Northern Irishman’s shoulders has snowballed as a result.

Still, the prospect of joining the elite list of names to have won all four majors is something that should act as a huge motivator. Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus, and Tiger Woods are the only men to have achieved the feat, and that gives an illustration of the company McIlroy would be keeping if he could don the green jacket at Augusta.

The problem lies in the fact that it’s extremely difficult for a player to ensure that their best form lines up with one specific tournament. Golf is unique in that whoever plays best over the course of the four days will walk away with the trophy, and there’s simply nothing the other players can do to stop them. Add in the sheer desire McIlroy has to win the Masters, and the whole idea of winning it seems unattainable.

Then again, golf has a unique ability to turn what should be fairy-tales into reality and nowhere is this more prevalent than at the Masters. Just take Woods’ victory in 2019. No one gave him any hope of winning another major, but he found a spark from somewhere at Augusta and delivered one of the performances of his career.

McIlroy has got to hope that his time of reckoning is approaching, that one of these days the stars will align and everything will fall his way at the Masters. If he could get his hands on the green jacket this year, there’s not a golf fan out there who wouldn’t be delighted for him.

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