Augusta: World No 1 golfer Rory McIlroy believes the Augusta National suits his game and cannot wait for the tournament to get under way today after the hype which has been building since his Open triumph at Hoylake last July.
Rory McIlroy looks on from the practice range during a practice round prior to the start of the 2015 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. Pic/AFP
McIlroy has recorded just one top-10 finish in six previous appearances at Augusta — last year's tie for eighth — although he did take a four-shot lead into the final round in 2011 before collapsing to a closing 80.
"I think I've developed a game where I can compete at pretty much any golf course now. That might not have been the case two or three years ago," McIlroy said.
"But if you're looking at the courses, Augusta's the one that should set up the best for me just with my ball flight and being comfortable off the tee here, especially being able to turn the ball over from right to left.
"If I can play the way I know I can around here and just have a good week on the greens, then there's no reason why I shouldn't have a good chance," he added.
Praise from Woods
Meanwhile, 14-time major winner Tiger Woods praised McIlroy, saying he believed the Irish golfer will win the Masters several times during his career, although the is intent on ensuring a first green jacket will not be required on Sunday.
McIlroy can become the first player since Woods — and only the sixth in history — to complete the career Grand Slam by winning his third straight major at Augusta National.
"I look back when I did it in 2000, I couldn't ask for a better place to do it at other than St Andrews, the home of golf," said Woods on completing his career Grand Slam at the Open 15 years ago.
"And for Rory, you couldn't ask for the other better place to do it, which is here at Augusta. It doesn't get much better than that. He has that opportunity and he's going to have that opportunity for decades to come. But I'm sure he'll have many green jackets in his closet before it's all said and done."
Woods said he had "worked my a*** off" to get his game back in shape after recording a career-worst 82 to miss the cut in Phoenix and then withdrawing from his only other tournament of the year after 11 holes due to injury.