It must be difficult telling close friends they can’t come to Augusta, and particularly when, as Paul McGinley evocatively puts it, you’re standing on the edge of history.
But Rory McIlroy has shown another side to his easy-going nature this week and cut down dramatically on his entourage at the Masters, as he prepares for his fourth attempt at the career Grand Slam.
‘I’m going to upset a few people, but if I end up winning the green jacket I won’t mind that,’ he said. ‘The problem is it’s the tournament everyone wants to go to, and it can become quite a production, with seven people in one house and 10 in another. This year, I want it chilled and quiet.’
Rory McIlroy can complete the career Grand Slam by winning the Masters at Augusta
The Northern Irishman knows it will be anything but once he steps on to the grounds at Augusta. As if there wasn’t enough pressure trying to become just the sixth player to complete the Slam, he’s now the tournament favourite following his stunning victory at the Arnold Palmer Invitational last month.
‘That showed me my game is in the right order for Augusta,’ said McIlroy. ‘You want to see you can execute certain shots under the gun on Sunday and I did that. As for the other bit, I’m 28 and it’s important I remember I’ve got plenty of good years left.
‘I realise every year that passes is another chance that got away but I’m