RORY McIlroy insists he must face his crippling fear of losing at the Masters if he is to end his quest and finally win the career grand slam.
The co-down man led to the finals in 2011 but shot 80 and then failed to put pressure on Patrick Reed as he went three down in the final group in 2018.
“I think if I find myself in that position again, whether this year or in the years to come, I think if I’m okay with not winning it’s not a bad thing,” he told Greg Allen of RTE.
“I think sometimes the fear of losing can paralyze you and make you hesitate and not play the golf you want to play. So actually confront that fear and think, I’m going to play my game, and if I play that game, I’m going to have a great chance of winning, and then if it doesn’t happen, it doesn’t happen.
“I hadn’t happened for 13 years in a row, so I feel like I don’t have much to lose at this point.”
Winning the Masters would make McIlroy one of golf’s immortals, and he believes he should be more conservative and not try to take shots that could lead to the costly big numbers that have hurt him in the past.
With six top-ten finishes in the last ten Masters, he knows he can play the course better than most.
“I think for a lot of people on the outside, this golf course was possibly my best shot at winning a major just with the way the golf course is set up, the ball flight I have and the way I do it play the game,” he called.
“But of course that’s easier said than done.
“There’s a lot that goes into it, but like I said in the press conference there, it’s about discipline. I have so much confidence in my abilities that it tempts me to hit shots I don’t need to hit.
“I think that’s the thing about Augusta, you just have to be so disciplined and really hit it in the hearts of the greens and make pars and go on and pick up a few birdies here and there.
“Because that’s the thing – I’m always going to make enough birdies, that’s not the problem, it just keeps the mistakes and the big numbers off the map and that’s sort of my focus this week, just a little bit more conservative and a little bit more to be patient.
“And if I can do that and then tick off the par five like I can, that’s a recipe for success here and here.”
https://www.independent.ie/sport/golf/sometimes-the-fear-of-losing-can-cripple-you-rory-mcilroy-on-facing-his-masters-demons-41525603.html “Sometimes the fear of losing can paralyze you” – Rory McIlroy on confronting his master’s demons