Rory McIlroy insists he isn’t distracted by the upcoming opportunity to beat the likes of Phil Mickelson and Jordan Spieth to the career Grand Slam.
The world No.12 will intensify his pre-Augusta preparations at this week’s Valspar Championship at Innisbrook, having admitted his swing felt ‘out of sync’ at PGA National.
McIlroy has not added to his collection of Majors since his victory at the US PGA Championship back in 2014 but will be hoping to complete the full set at the Masters next month.
Spieth and Mickelson will have their chances to join an elite club later this year as they look to secure the titles which have thus far evaded them and McIlroy acknowledges he needs to maintain focus if he achieve his goals.
‘I’ve got the first chance,’ said McIlroy. ‘It’s not that you’re thinking about it all the time but there’s three guys that have the chance to do it this year. I just want to win the tournament, not ahead of those guys or whatever, just the opportunity. It’s bragging rights.
‘Golf is really healthy at this point with the three of us looking for the Slam, Tiger coming back, Justin Thomas playing so well, DJ being the No 1 player in the world, Jon Rahm… It’s good, and I’m glad to be in the conversation.
‘But I’m really just trying to prepare for each and every event and try to play that as well as I can and some guys have one eye on the golf tournament and one eye on a few weeks time. I can’t do that. I have to be 100 per cent committed to what I’m playing right now
‘Right now my priority is the Valspar Championship, trying to win this tournament and trying to figure out a way to get myself around Innisbrook. That’s really what I’m trying to do. I feel if I do that, if I play well, then it’s more confidence and momentum that will help in a few weeks.’