Rory McIlroy may be golf’s world’s number one, and may be on the verge of accomplishing the career Grand Slam, but he has revealed that he will never love the sport the way he did when he was a child.
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The 25-year-old already has four Major titles to his name, having won the USPGA Championship twice as well as the British and US Open, and will return to Augusta National this week hoping to exercise his demons from previous visits to the historic course.
In 2011, the Northern Irishman went into the final round at the Masters leading by four shots, and seemingly in touching distance of his first green jacket. But an 80 on Sunday ended all hopes of victory, and left McIlroy looking shell-shocked.
Despite the collapse, the Ulsterman’s rise to the top of the game has been startling, and mirrors the emergence of a certain Tiger Woods nearly twenty years ago.
However, McIlroy has revealed in the Telegraph that success has cost him some of the infatuation he held for the sport when he was younger.
“I still love the game, still love playing great courses and playing with my friends and my dad. I took a trip to Augusta after Doral with Dad and it was just so good. But then I don’t love golf as much as when it was just pure joy to get on to the course to play,” he explained.
Despite the admission, it is highly likely that if he becomes only the sixth winner of the Grand Slam, then he may rediscover the passion that took him to the game’s summit.