April 2, 2024

Trevor Immelman believes that of all the exciting narratives surrounding the upcoming Masters Tournament—such as World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler’s continued dominance or Jon Rahm’s attempt to become the fourth back-to-back champion—Rory McIlroy’s pursuit of the career grand slam is the one that sticks out the most.


MORE: Our top picks for the Masters tournament


As CBS prepares to broadcast the Masters for the 69th consecutive year, Immelman, the 2008 Masters winner and chief analyst for CBS Sports, told reporters in a teleconference on Monday. “Rory is the big one here.” Given how dominant he has been in the game over the past ten years, it’s really difficult to comprehend that he hasn’t won a major in that time. I’m interested to see what he comes up with, therefore. Isn’t it exciting for the golf community and us at CBS to see McIlroy attempt to accomplish the grand slam here on Sunday in only one week?



Rory would probably enjoy it as well. However, McIlroy hasn’t given himself many opportunities since his spectacular back-nine collapse in 2011 destroyed any hope of winning by a margin of victory. Only three times since that Masters has McIlroy started the final round inside the top-10, the most recent being in 2018 when he finished second and was paired with eventual champion Patrick Reed. His greatest result came from closing with a 64 to tie for second place in the backdoor two years ago, but that finish was surrounded by missed cuts in 2021 and ’23.


This week, McIlroy, who is currently ranked second in the world behind Scheffler, is playing in the Valero Texas Open. Next up, he will play at Augusta National Golf Club. The last major he won was at the 2014 PGA Championship held at Louisville, Kentucky’s Valhalla Golf Club, host of the PGA next month.


“The ultimate trying to get over the line; that is the most elite list in our sport is career grand slam winners,” Immelman said of McIlroy’s pursuit of the grand slam.


Put another way, it’s challenging to complete. Only five men—Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus, Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, and Gary Player—have accomplished it.


“This will be his [McIlroy’s] tenth try, and mentally, it starts to weigh on you more and more because you feel like you’ve got what it takes,” Immelman said. According to Immelman, McIlroy’s overaggressive play at Augusta National is his only error.


You’ve clearly demonstrated it if you’ve reached this point. The attention and the strain you place on yourself only begin to get stronger. It consequently becomes a very difficult mental task. You must run approach this creature. I recall some advise I received from Gary Player the night before the 2008 Masters final round. Trevor, you have to learn to embrace adversity because it will come at some point, and that will be the right time, he continued. Will you run away from it or will you face it head-on, accept it, and put up a strong battle to win this Masters?”


Working his 40th and last Masters for CBS this year, Verne Lundquist was as surprised as anybody to watch McIlroy struggle late on Sunday, 2011, when he had a commanding lead before faltering to a final-round 80 that left him tied for fifteenth place. He clarified why it was so shocking when McIlroy’s slide started with a triple bogey on the par-4 10th hole.


A scouting report that he had gotten appeared authentic until, well, it didn’t.


“David Feherty and I were housemates at Augusta for 11 years, along with Peter Kostis. Ryan and David are from nearby hometowns in Northern Ireland,” Lundquist remarked. After having dinner with Rory on Saturday night, David assured us that he was in a good mood when he returned to our house. At that point, we were living together. Tomorrow, he will abscond with this item. That’s all I could think about when he had the catastrophe on 10. It’s still a memory that lingers. It was difficult to watch. Extremely difficult to watch.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *