McIlroy talks up Augusta hopes

28 February 2018 06:10:18 EST

Rory McIlroy believes his putting is in the sort of order needed to challenge to complete a full set of Major victories at the Masters this year.

The Northern Irishman already has four Major titles to his name, having won an Open Championship, a US Open and two USPGA Championships.

You don't need to hole every 15-footer that you look at, you need to be efficient, just not be wasteful.

Rory McIlroy

However, an Augusta triumph has so far eluded him, with McIlroy having let slip a four-shot lead going into the final round in 2011.

His finishes in recent attempts have all been decent, with McIlroy a top-tenner in each of the last four years without being able to go on and claim the famous Green Jacket.

And, despite not claiming a tournament win at all since September 2016, McIlroy is in a positive frame of mind as the build-up to the Masters switches into gear.

He told BBC Sport NI: "At Augusta you don't need to putt great, you need to not waste any shots - no three putts, hole everything inside five feet.

"You don't need to hole every 15-footer that you look at, you need to be efficient, just not be wasteful.

"Speed is important and lag putting, they are big keys, and I feel like I've started to get lot better at that, especially there because there is a lot of break and a lot of different slopes.

"I have had three top-10s in the last three years and played well, but just not played well enough."

McIlroy can be backed at 9/1 to win the Masters this year, with Justin Thomas available at 10/1 and current world number one Dustin Johnson 11/1.

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