Rory McIlroy wants to win the Masters, but he no longer feels a need to be successful at Augusta despite being close to a career Grand Slam.
McIlroy enters the WGC-Dell Technologies Championship on the back of a win at The Players Championship.
However, the Northern Irishman is already looking beyond that with the Masters just two weeks away as the four-time major winner looks to complete a career Grand Slam.
“There’s a difference between a personal desire and a need,” he said on Tuesday at the Austin Country Club in Texas.
“I would have said a couple of years ago, ‘I need to win a Masters. I need a green jacket’. Now, it’s ‘I want to, I want to win it. I’d love to win it, but if I don’t, I’m OK.’ And I think that is the difference.”
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) March 26, 2019
But, before he can tee off at the famed Augusta National Golf Club, he will have to get through a loaded schedule.
The 15-time winner on the PGA Tour has added more tournaments ahead of the majors than in previous years.
“You have to find that blend between being fresh but making sure at the same time there’s no rust,” McIlroy said.
“So, being fresh, being prepared, being ready to play. I’ve had success both ways. I think it really just depends on how your mind is at that given time and for me, I feel like my best play over the last couple of years has been on the back of some decent runs, playing two, three tournaments in a row and that’s the reason I’ve played quite a bit leading up to this part of the season.”
McIlroy already has six top-10 finishes this season. Aside from The Players victory, he finished in solo second at the WGC-Mexico Championship and in a tie for fourth at the Genesis Open.
The 29-year-old won the match-play event in Texas in 2015 and tried to repeat the following year but fell in a back-and-forth semi-final match against Jason Day.
“I’m happy to be back. You have to embrace this tournament for what it is and I think that’s why I’ve had some success here. It is a little bit different than what we do week in and week out,” McIlroy said.
“I’m looking forward to the week – 2016 feels like a long time ago and when I got to the Sunday with Jason. The last couple of years haven’t gone so good but I would like to change that this week.”
McIlroy will be grouped with Matt Fitzpatrick, Justin Harding and Luke List starting on Wednesday.