With one tournament left to prepare for his bid to complete a career grand slam at April's Augusta Masters, Rory McIlroy says he is feeling better about his game and has been putting extra time in with his coach. Mcllroy is in Orlando for the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill after spending time in Augusta playing a friendly round of golf with his father.
The world number one is coming off a couple of uneven outings at the Honda Classic and the WGC-Cadillac Championship which featured a frustrated Mcllroy hurling a three iron into a pond.
"I feel good. I really do. You know as I said I got some good work in with my coach Michael Bannon over the last several days. Something that I really hadn't planned on doing so it was nice to spend one-on-one time with him and work on a couple of things so I'm excited the direction it's going. Just happy to be here and get one more competitive outing and I guess really try and get myself into contention and try and win a golf tournament before I turn my attention elsewhere," Mcllroy said.
Mcllroy was asked about Tiger Woods' possible entry at Augusta and seemed hopeful that a possible appearance by Woods would take some of the intense focus off his career slam attempt.
"I think every year there's such build-up and hype towards Augusta and I think that hasn't changed. I just think that this year, at least for now, I'm the build-up and centre of that hype and I think if Tiger decides to play that will change things a little bit and there will be a lot of attention on that as well. I don't feel like it's any different. I've got a chance to go to Augusta and do something that very few players in the game have done before. That adds a little extra spice to it. I don't feel that it's any different. There's no extra pressure on this side of going to Augusta this year," he added.
Tournament host Arnold Palmer spoke to the media earlier in the day and expressed delight that Mcllroy was in the field and confidence that Mcllroy would play well this week.
"I have not talked to Rory since he's been here. I will today or tomorrow for sure. I can say that I'm very happy to have him here. I think it's nice that he has come on. He told me earlier that he was coming. I think he'll snap things up and make it very interesting. I'm sure he'll play well here", Palmer said.