The calendar has flipped to February, which means the questions about the Masters are just around the corner. For Rory McIlroy, that's not necessarily an appetizing prospect.
For the fifth straight spring, McIlroy will look to round out the career Grand Slam at Augusta National. He has come close in recent years, finishing T-10 or better every year since 2014, and played in the final group last year with Patrick Reed.
But McIlroy's closet is still lacking a green jacket, having finished T-5 last year and having blown a 54-hole lead back in 2011. Despite the close calls amid the azaleas, McIlroy remains confident that he'll get the job done at some point and join Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Ben Hogan and Gene Sarazen on the short list of players who have lifted all four major trophies.
"It's all about putting myself in a position to win on the back nine on Sunday, and that's all I'm thinking about," McIlroy said Tuesday on "Morning Drive." "Just giving myself another chance and see how I handle it. I'm positive it'll happen one day. If I keep practicing and working hard and doing the right things, it'll go my way."
McIlroy will turn 30 in May, and he has started the new year with a pair of top-5 finishes at Kapalua and Torrey Pines. The Ulsterman explained that he has grown increasingly comfortable at Augusta National after 10 career appearances, and he's optimistic that the next chapter of his career will include an increase to his major haul.
"Obviously I would love to be able to complete the Grand Slam before I'm 30 years of age, but you look at some of the greats in the game and they didn't start winning majors until their early or mid-30s. So I've got time," he said. "At the same time, I feel like I'm at a place where I am very comfortable with my game right now. I'm doing everything that I think I should be doing."