Watson tips McIlroy for Masters glory


Tom Watson has backed Rory McIlroy to complete a career Grand Slam by winning the Masters this week.

McIlroy has not won a major since claiming the US PGA Championship for a second time in 2014, although he finished fourth at Augusta last year - his best finish at the tournament.

The Masters remains the only major to elude the Northern Irishman, but Watson - a two-time winner of the green jacket who is competing for the final time this year - thinks McIlroy can address that over the coming days.

"Well, I think that you've got Rory McIlroy [who] has won four major championships," he said. "He's the guy. He's my pick this week.

"He's just got a tremendous talent. He hits the ball high. I think it's always been an advantage to hit the ball high on this golf course."

McIlroy is likely to face stiff competition from the likes of in-form Jason Day and defending champion Jordan Spieth, with the trio leading the way in the world rankings.

"Well they [McIlroy, Day and Spieth] are really good. That's number one," added Watson. "They can flat play the game. And it's not a one-dimensional type of game, either. They have the skills to do different things with the golf ball when they have to, and Jordan can really manoeuvre the ball when he has to.

"Rory, he can emasculate a golf course. He hits the ball high and so far. Look how good he did at Congressional [2011 U.S. Open].

"And Jason Day, he hits the ball very high, same trajectory almost with every club it seems like, from the wedge to the driver. Just like that, but penetrating with the driver.

"I'm very impressed about how they play the game, but I'm equally impressed by how they handle themselves outside of just playing the game. They are generally nice people. They help people out, they really do. They do a good job of that, the way I've observed them. They treat the fans well, they kid around with the fans and they do things that I never did.

"The other thing is that they are working out on their bodies more than we did. We never worked out. The only workout I had was the 300 or 400 balls I hit every day, and that was a pretty damn good workout.

"These guys are working out in the gym with their trainers and getting some real strength. What is it with these really short-sleeved shirts, tight, like this? They put one of those things on me and all they saw was chest hair and I needed a manssiere [male bra]. They really do keep themselves in shape.

"All in all, I think the game is in great stead right now. The kids of the day, they look up to them because they are not too far away from them in age. It's really cool. It's good for our game, that's for sure."