It's been a long road for McIlroy, but fans are hoping the No. 2 ranked golfer in the world will finally score that elusive green jacket. 10 years after going pro (and he's still just 27-years-old), McIlroy seems ready to confront his demons at Augusta.
McIlroy has 8-to-1 odds of winning it all, and seems more poised than ever. This is destiny. Book it.
There is something to be said about entering the tournament as the most talented player that nobody is talking about. Prior to failing to advance out of his Match Play group, McIlroy owned six top-10 finishes in a row worldwide, starting with his FedEx Cup clincher at the Tour Championship. His game has been sneaky good, too. If he had played enough rounds to qualify, he would be leading the PGA Tour in all major strokes gained categories for ball striking. He’s been better than Spieth on approach, and better than Johnson off the tee.
Spieth is just 23-years-old, but his first Masters win in 2015 sent the four-year pro skyrocketing into stardom. Like Tiger, the course at Augusta plays to Spieth's strengths—he just gets it. And what's better than one green jacket? Two green jackets.
After losing the Masters to Danny Willett last year, Spieth said, “I am going to make this guy give me that jacket back.” Spieth has 7-to-1 odds to win it all in 2017. Maybe he should clear some space his wardrobe closet.
There is no greater competitor in golf than Spieth. It explains his vocal outbursts and emotional tantrums on sub-average shots. He demands perfection of himself. That determination is a prerequisite for being successful at Augusta. So is scoring. Spieth is a top-10 putter, arguably the best in the world. He leads the PGA Tour this season in strokes gained: approach to the green. Only two players hit more greens than he does. Only one makes more birdies on average. He is a scoring machine.