Golf

McIlroy wins and thinks about Green Jacket

Rory McIlroy has won four of the five biggest events in golf after his one-stroke victory at the Players Championship in Florida yesterday morning (Singapore time) and is slowly turning his sights on the fifth - next month's Masters at Augusta National.

McIlroy emerged as the last man standing in a wild final round to win the Players Championship by one shot from American Jim Furyk.

McIlroy overcame an early double-bogey to card two-under 70. A tap-in birdie at the par-five 16th gave him the lead and he parred the final two holes to finish at 16-under 272.

A victory at the April 11-14 Masters would make him the sixth man to complete the modern Grand Slam of all four Majors - the Masters, US Open, British Open and PGA Championship - and the second this century after Tiger Woods.

McIlroy, who won his last Major in 2014, has had four cracks at completing the Grand Slam, but he has never gone to Augusta with quite the sort of consistent form he has displayed this year.

The Northern Irishman had not finished worse than sixth in five starts and he finally closed the deal on St Patrick's Day at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach.

He also vaulted to fourth in the world rankings, his highest position in almost 18 months, and collected more than US$2.25 million (S$3.04m) for the win, but it did not take long for talk to turn to another type of green, namely the Green Jacket.

"If I go to Augusta with a similar golf game to what I have now and the attitude I've shown over the first few weeks of the year, I think I'll have a great chance," he said. - REUTERS

Golf