Will Rory McIlroy ever win Masters? Don’t bet on it, says former manager


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Will Rory McIlroy ever win the Masters and complete the career Grand Slam? Don’t bet on it, his former manager says.

Chubby Chandler, who represented McIlroy from 2007 until their abrupt split in late 2011, addressed McIlroy’s unsuccessful quest for a green jacket and his missing Slam piece in a recent interview with the British newspaper iNews.

“If you were a betting man you would probably bet against him winning [the career Grand Slam],” Chandler said. “He has made winning the Grand Slam a bigger thing in his head than it actually is. He is not really driven by number of wins or number of majors per se, but he seems to be driven by wanting to win the Grand Slam. It’s a massive mental block and it’s getting harder and harder. Every time he gets there, he has the pressure from everyone else, but also from himself.”

Since his second-nine collapse at Augusta National in 2011, McIlroy has seven top-10 finishes in 12 Masters appearances, including last year’s backdoor runner-up. He also, however, has missed two of his past three cuts after carding a second-round 77 and missing out on the weekend by two shots last week.

Prior to his most recent Masters start, McIlroy admitted his inability to win at Augusta National was not physical.

“I would say the majority are mental or emotional struggles rather than physical,” McIlroy said. “I’ve always felt like I have the physical ability to win this tournament. But it’s being in the right head space to let those physical abilities shine through. … It’s sort of just like I’ve got all the ingredients to make the pie. It’s just putting all those ingredients in and setting the oven to the right temperature and letting it all sort of come to fruition. But I know that I’ve got everything there. It’s just a matter of putting it all together.”

Chandler believes McIlroy is too distracted, whether it be his role on the PGA Tour’s policy board, sponsor demands or even last week’s walk-and-talk interview with CBS.

“To me he has got carried away as mouthpiece of the PGA Tour,” Chandler added. “He is doing things he shouldn’t be doing and opening his mouth too often. The interview on the fairway [at the Masters], absolutely brilliant TV but not good for Rory McIlroy. You can’t be having a chat with a guy in the commentary box about the day and the way he is playing, or whatever, then get over a wedge and give it 100%. You would never have got [Jack] Nicklaus doing it. You would never have got Tiger [Woods] doing it.

“If you could see into his head back in the days when he was flying around Augusta there was nothing in there other than hitting a golf ball. Now he has commitments with PGA Tour, where he has been groomed as a political figurehead, with TV, with half a dozen really big sponsors. And they take up time. He now has Workday [software company]. Workday put an add on TV, that will take a day of his time. That clutter manifests itself on the course. He needs to get away from a lot of that, and just trust his talent.”

After splitting with Chandler more than a decade ago, McIlroy said Chandler had led him “down the wrong path.” McIlroy won three of his four major titles and reached No. 1 in the world for the first time after the breakup. Currently, McIlroy is ranked third in the OWGR, having won four times since last summer.

Chandler now counters that McIlroy has no critical voices in his inner circle.

“He employs everybody around him,” Chandler said. “He has not got anyone to say that’s not right, why are you saying that, why are you doing this? None of that. Fair play, he is his own man, he makes his own mistakes and apologizes for them. But some of the stuff he is doing is not helping him and it comes at a cost, and that is probably another 10 tournament wins.”

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