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Sport McIlroy's major Masters build-up

01:45  08 december  2017
01:45  08 december  2017 Source:   skysports.com

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But "almost" is the key word because the Masters still stubbornly refuses to fall into McIlroy ' s grasp. The Cut podcast: Masters Day Four - Reed Shows Up , Rory Doesn't. Reed wins at Augusta for first major title.

Halfway through golf' s first major , Patrick Reed is leading at the Masters while Tiger Woods and McIlroy made up a five-shot deficit in eight holes when he chipped in for eagle on the par-5 eighth. “You had to ride the momentum and keep it going.” McIlroy can only hope he didn’t use up all his luck.

Rory McIlroy has added the Honda Classic to his hectic spring schedule next year and faces the prospect of playing seven tournaments in a row ahead of the Masters.

McIlroy has already confirmed he will return to action after a three-month break at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship in January, and he will then attempt to win a third Omega Dubai Desert Classic title the following week.

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Reed seized control with a pair of eagles on the back nine, two big pars and a 5-under 67 that gave him a three-shot lead over McIlroy as he goes for his first major in the city where he led undermanned Augusta State to two NCAA titles. His primary challenger is McIlroy , in the final group at the Masters

His primary challenger is McIlroy , in the final group at the Masters for the first time in seven years, this time with a shot at the career Grand Slam. He was at 14-under 202. McIlroy made up a five-shot deficit in eight holes when he chipped in for eagle on the par-5 eighth.

The world No 10, whose 2017 campaign was hampered by a troublesome rib-joint injury which has prompted him to take a lengthy winter break, will then have a week off before heading to California to compete in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am and the Genesis Open at Riviera.

McIlroy then returns to PGA National in Florida for the Honda Classic, an event he won in 2012 and was runner-up two years later, but he missed the first stop on the PGA Tour's Florida Swing earlier this year due to his injury.

According to his intended schedule on his website, McIlroy has yet to commit to the following week's WGC-Mexico Championship, but he has committed to play in the Valspar Championship in Palm Harbor, which starts on March 15.

McIlroy is also set to play at Bay Hill the following week in the Arnold Palmer Invitational, although he has not yet added the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play to his intended list of starts.

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But "almost" is the key word because the Masters still stubbornly refuses to fall into McIlroy ' s grasp. The Cut podcast: Masters Day Four - Reed Shows Up , Rory Doesn't. Reed wins at Augusta for first major title.

Rory McIlroy says he will play in at least seven tournaments early next year as he builds up to another tilt at the Masters in April. The Green Jacket is the only major to have eluded McIlroy and next year' s Masters will be his fourth attempt at completing the career Grand Slam.

If he does tee up in the World Golf Championship events in Mexico and Texas, McIlroy will play nine tournaments in a 10-week stretch and then have just one week off before the Masters.

McIlroy needs a victory at Augusta National to join an elite list of players to complete a career Grand Slam of major titles, and he will not be lacking competitive golf ahead of his bid for an elusive Green Jacket.

The 28-year-old has not played since the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in October, and is using his lay-off to get himself fully fit while working on the aspects of his game he felt were letting him down over the last year.

In a statement from tournament organisers announcing McIlroy's return to the Honda Classic, the four-time major champion is quoted as saying: "I played for four months without hitting a shot from left to right. My wedge play was not very good. My iron play was not very good. It's so nice that I have this time in the off-season to work on all this stuff and make sure it hopefully never happens again.

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His primary challenger is McIlroy , in the final group at the Masters for the first time in seven years, this time with a shot at the career Grand Slam. He was at 14-under 202. McIlroy made up a five-shot deficit in eight holes when he chipped in for eagle on the par-5 eighth.

Rory McIlroy , of Northern Ireland, reacts after making a birdie putt on the 18th hole during the third round at the Masters golf tournament Saturday, April 7, 2018, in Augusta, Ga. He was at 14-under 202. McIlroy made up a five-shot deficit in eight holes when he chipped in for eagle on the par-5 eighth.

"I feel I'm a much better player than I was in 2011 and 2012, when I was able to win a couple of majors. I feel I can do better than that in the next 10 years and that's why these three months off are very important for me to put some really good things in place, step away and just reassess where I'm at and where I need to be.

"The landscape of the game has changed a bit since I started to win majors. You have young, hungry guys now who are fearless and playing the game how I basically came out and played a few years ago. It's about gaining an advantage again here and there, just reassessing everything and making sure I'm not leaving any stone unturned and doing everything I can to get back to (being) the best player in the world.

"These three months (off) could give me the foundation to have the next 10 years be even better than the 10 years I've just had. That turns a great career into one of the greatest careers."

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