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08th Apr 2015

If Rory McIlroy doesn’t win the Masters he thinks he knows who will

Ulsterman denies he's the favourite

Kevin McGillicuddy

Yeah, sure Rory

Seven is a lucky number for most and Rory McIlroy is probably hoping he can end his Masters misery this weekend at Augusta in his seventh appearance at the course.

The talk all week has been of the Irishman securing the career Grand Slam by picking up his first Green Jacket come Sunday night. He’s widely regarded as the favourite for the title by pretty much everyone.

Except himself.

Speaking on the eve of the tournament McIlroy thinks that previous winner Bubba Watson is the man that everyone should be as the eventual winner.

The Masters - Preview Day 3

The world No 1 feels that Watson has to be regarded as the man to stop given his previous record at the course.

Maybe McIlroy is trying a bit of reverse psychology on Watson to try and psyche him out:

“I’d say Bubba [is the favourite].  I’d say Bubba is. I mean, he’s won here two of the last three years.  Perfect game for this course.  Been playing really well.  Seems confident every time he tees it up.  He’s been right up there his last few events.  So if you’re looking at someone that will do well this week, I think Bubba is the main guy‑ not trying to put any pressure on him or anything.”

The weekend will also see the return to action of Tiger Woods who has been on an extended break as he deals with a number of medical issues over the last number of years.

The Masters - Preview Day 3

Tiger is stuck on 14 major title wins while he has also fallen out of the world’s top 50 golfers. Was McIlroy ever worried that Woods would never play golf again and compete at the very top of the sport?

“Was I concerned for him?  Not really.  It’s hard to be concerned for someone that’s already won 14 and 80 PGA TOUR events and earned over a billion dollars in his career.  I think he’s done OK.

“It would have been a bad thing for the sport if he had not been able to come back, so it’s great that he’s making his first start back here.  And hopefully this is the start of a period where he can play continuously and have a good run at it, because, you know, he’s 39, turning 40 this year.  He’s got maybe a few years left where he can play at the top level and he’s going to give it his all.”

McIlroy has also revealed how Niall Horan of One Direction is going to be his caddy this evening for the famous Par Three event.

The Masters - Preview Day 2

The singer will get to hold the bag of the Ulsterman for the traditional warm-up, which is bound to guarantee a big spike in the number of teenage girls tuning in tonight,

“He’s been excited to come here.  He’s never been to the Masters.  I caught up with him in Australia at the end of last year and he was really excited, and I said, if you’re available Wednesday afternoon and you want to carry the bag for nine holes, you’re more than welcome.”

H/T to Asap Sports