He’s in Sydney to defend his Australian Open crown, but Rory McIlroy admits not a day goes by when he’s not thinking about the bigger picture.
When McIlroy arrives at Augusta National for the 2015 Masters in April, he will be striving to become only the sixth golfer ever to win all four majors.
And the world number one says the chance to join Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Gary Player, Ben Hogan and Gene Sarazen in his sport’s most exclusive club is something he wonders about “every day”.
“I mean, I guess the next big career goal of mine, it would be to complete the career grand slam,” McIlroy said after Wednesday’s pro-am at The Australian Golf Club.
“It’s going to be a great position to be in in a few months’ time, driving down Magnolia Lane having the chance to win my third major in a row and the chance to complete the career grand slam at 25.
“So I’m going to enjoy it. I know there’s going to be a lot of hype and a lot of talk about it, but I think you just have to embrace that and I’m going to enjoy the week as best I can and make sure that I’m prepared for that week next year.
“It’s going to be tough for me. The Masters is the place for me where I’ve had my struggles in the past and I’m going to be trying to put that right next year.”
After landing the Open and US PGA titles back-to-back in 2013, McIlroy also has the chance to join Nicklaus, Tiger Woods and Ben Hogan as only the fourth player to win three consecutive majors.
Already in esteemed company and hoping to play well into his 40s, the Co Down native knows he has the opportunity to one day be included in any conversations discussing the game’s greatest-ever player. “I’m just taking it one event at a time and trying to play the golf that I want to and I know that, if I play the golf that I’m capable of, that it means I’ve got a chance to do something pretty special in this game.
“I’ve got to make sure I keep putting the time in to not just stay where I’m at but I keep getting better and better because I know all the guys I’m competing against are doing the same thing.”
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