Rory McIlroy, the No. 1 player in the world and presumptive Masters favorite, can complete the career grand slam this week at the age of 25. An opening-round 71 didn’t ruin those hopes on Thursday. But McIlroy has some room to make up after an inconsistent performance.
“I just kept telling myself to be patient out there today,” said McIlroy, who finished with three birdies and two bogeys. “It was a tricky day. The wind was swirling a little bit. Pin positions were tough. Anything under par I felt was a pretty good score.”
McIlroy, who finished last season with victories in the British Open and the PGA Championship, pushing his career major total to four, has not dodged questions about completing the career grand slam this week. The presence of Tiger Woods has taken away some of the media attention and. But McIlroy said he has tried to not put too much pressure on himself.
“Look, I obviously know what I can achieve this week, but I'm not letting myself think about it too much,” McIlroy said. “Just trying to play it one round at a time. Today was a pretty good day. I feel like I can do better.”