Rory McIlroy playing mind games before Masters

Rory McIlroy
Rory McIlroy
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Rory McIlroy believes juggling and meditation can help him win the Masters and complete the career grand slam.

McIlroy needs a victory at Augusta National to join Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods in having claimed all four major titles.

The 29-year-old has finished inside the top 10 on each of his last four starts and was in the last group in the final round 12 months ago, only to struggle to a closing 74 and end up six shots behind playing partner Patrick Reed.

That means his best chance to win also remains his worst memory of Augusta, namely when he squandered a four-shot lead in 2011 with a final-round collapse.

However, there is also no question that McIlroy is in some of the best form of his career after following five consecutive top-six finishes with victory in the Players Championship.

And the four-time major winner has revealed how meditation, juggling and a wide variety of reading material helped him end a number of final-day failures and triumph at Sawgrass.

“I’m not going to go and live with the monks for a couple months in Nepal, it’s 10 minutes a day,” McIlroy side in a fascinating pre-tournament interview. “It’s not as if I’m being consumed by it.

“But it’s definitely something that has helped from time to time. Especially in situations where you need your mind to be right. I meditated for 20 minutes on the Sunday morning of the Players.

“My routine now consists of meditation, juggling, mind training, you know, doing all the stuff to get yourself in the right place. It was actually cool. I was watching the [Augusta National] Women’s Amateur over the weekend and I saw a few women on the range juggling, so it’s catching on. This is my 11th year here,” he added. “If I haven’t figured it out by now, there’s something wrong.

“I’m very comfortable with this golf course. I think one of the great things about this course is it forces you to be creative and I like that side of the game. I like to see shots. I like to visualise.”