The Masters has long eluded Rory McIlroy but if the rumors of his practice round at Augusta are true, that winless streak might be coming to an end.
Rory McIlroy won his first match against Scott Stallings at the WGC-Dell Match Play event this week. But in two weeks, he’ll head to a place that has almost haunted him in his career: Augusta National Golf Club, home of The Masters.
In short, McIlroy, who has won four major championships, accrued 23 PGA Tour wins and 15 European/DP World Tour victories, and is one of the greatest golfers of a generation, has never won The Masters. In fact, his 2022 performance was his best finish ever at Augusta, finishing outright second after an 8-under 64 on Sunday punctuated by a hole-out from a bunker on the 72nd hole.
So as we prepare for the trip to Augusta, McIlroy made a trip to the hallowed ground of golf after a dismal performance at THE PLAYERS Championship for some practice rounds. But as he’s making a putter switch at the Match Play event, rumors began to swirl that he diced up Augusta. More specifically, there were rumblings he went through a round needing only 19 putts over 18 holes.
Is that true?
The Masters rumors: Rory McIlroy needed only 19 putts at Augusta practice round
Well, McIlroy was asked about it after his win over Stallings on Monday and, one thing’s for sure, he sheepishly didn’t deny the 19-putt round in preparation for The Masters.
Rory McIlroy has been playing elite golf for the last year-plus, nearly winning The Open Championship at St. Andrews, coming from behind to win the TOUR Championship, and racking up numerous other wins as well. But the win that would count the most would be finishing the career grand slam with a Masters victory that earns him a green jacket.
We may never know the full story of the 54 holes that McIlroy played at Augusta National Golf Club prior to showing up in Austin for the Match Play. If there’s an inkling of truth to the 19-putt practice round, though, then the Northern Irishman could finally win the one that has so long eluded him when The Masters concludes in just over two weeks’ time.