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McGinley: Rory McIlroy is destined to win the Masters

Rory McIlroy’s game is suited to the Masters and there is plenty more to come from the world number one, according to the Dubliner.

Rory McIlroy and Paul McGinley.
Rory McIlroy and Paul McGinley.

PAUL MCGINLEY BELIEVES it is only a matter of a time before Rory McIlroy wins the Masters, ahead of the first major of the year at Augusta this week.

McIlroy starts his quest to don the green jacket for the first time on Thursday and the world number one is the favourite to complete a grand slam of major titles.

McGinley knows the 25-year-old faces stiff competition to end his wait to win the Masters, but the Ryder Cup-winning captain is in no doubt that McIlroy’s time will come at Augusta.

He said: “Rory is the undisputed number one player in the world at the moment. He’s a guy that is still in his 20s and is going to get better. We haven’t seen the best of him yet. It’s important he stays as ambitious as he is now.

“It’s important he dedicates as much as he does now and there’s no reason why neither of those things won’t happen. I think he’ll win more major championships. I think the Masters is certainly one.

“Augusta is a golf course that suits the game that he plays. I’d be very surprised by the end of his career if he hasn’t won more than one Masters green jacket because that tournament really does suit him.

“He’ll win more majors too. He’s refreshing, he’s good for the game. But he’s got challenges. He’s got some really strong players on his heels who are going to be a real challenge to him.

“And he’s got Tiger Woods coming back invigorated and looking forward to taking up the mantle of a challenger to his throne as number one player in the world. So, I think it’s an exciting time for golf at the moment and there are a lot of guys who can rise to the challenge he’s going to face as world number one.”

McIlroy held a four-shot lead heading into the final round at Augusta in 2011, only to fall away badly, shooting 80 as Charl Schwartzel claimed victory.

The Northern Irishman bounced back in style by winning the US Open later that year, an achievement hailed by McGinley.

“I think [McIlroy's collapse at the 2011 Masters] was the best thing that ever happened to Rory,” added McGinley.

“For him to come out in the very next major championship and win it. That for me was the first marker that Rory McIlroy has some very strong mental fortitude. That was the first marker.

“To come back from the devastation of a high score on the last round, and to come back win the very next major. That showed that this guy was something special.”

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