Masters: Rory McIlroy enjoying relaxed approach as Bryson DeChambeau takes limelight

Rory McIlroy says he is enjoying being out of the limelight as he makes his sixth attempt to complete a career Grand Slam by winning the Masters.

Big-hitting American Bryson DeChambeau has been the main focus with his desire to overpower Augusta as he did Winged Foot to win the US Open in September.

“I don’t mind this, it’s like everything is more subdued, more relaxed,” said the Northern Irishman.

“Bryson’s going to be feeling different because the attention is on him.

McIlroy added: “The attention is on him and deservedly so coming off the back of a major win and basically disrupting the game of golf over the last few months.

“It’s a big story, and I’m just as intrigued as everyone else to see how that unfolds.”

Since winning the 2014 Open, McIlroy has been trying to join Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus and Woods as the only players to win all four men’s majors.

He has had four top-10 finishes in that time, although only really threatened in 2018 when Patrick Reed won. His best chance of victory was in 2011 but he squandered a four-shot lead in the final round.

Three-time Masters winner Phil Mickelson played with McIlroy on Tuesday and said: “He is playing beautifully. I would be shocked if he wasn’t in contention with a great chance on Sunday.

“Whether it’s this year, whether it’s a few months from now, whether it’s a few years, he will win and complete the Grand Slam. He’s too great a player not to.”

When asked about those comments, world number five McIlroy replied: “I’d like to think so but nothing’s given in this game.

“You have to go out and earn it. You can’t just rely on people saying that you’re going to win one. Greg Norman never did. Ernie Els never did.

“There are a lot of great people that have played this game that have never won a Green Jacket. It’s not a foregone conclusion, and I know that. I have to go out and earn it and play good golf.

“I think nowadays, with how many great players there are, I need to play my best golf to have a chance.”