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Rory McIlroy has claimed playing “smart” and not trying “to be a hero” is his formula for finally winning the Masters this week.
The four-time Major champion has not won since the re-start – and his former Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley has written of his chances of completing his career Grand Slam.
Favourite Bryson DeChambeau is threatening to overpower Augusta National with his huge hitting.
But McIlroy made a career-high 29 birdies in his last event at the Zozo Championships.
And the relaxed world No.5 warned: “I feel good about my game. I made a bunch of birdies at ZoZo, and I made a few mistakes as well.
“This week, it's take advantage of the holes that you can, play smart on the other ones.
Can McIlroy discover his winning touch?
(Image: Getty Images)
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"You're sort of making sure that you make no worse than a bogey on any hole.
"That's something that I probably haven't done here that well in the past.
"I've made a few big numbers, and if you can limit those, take your medicine, be smart, punch out of trees, not try to be a hero, that all can add up to at the end of the week to saving a few shots here and there.
“I feel as in control as I have been for a while, and that adds to that relaxed feeling. You know that it's in there. It's just a matter of going out.”
McIlroy insists that if he plays relaxed, he can emerge victorious
(Image: Getty Images)
Phil Mickelson, who won his first Masters aged 33 in 2004, yesterday insisted McIlroy will win a Masters and added: “And when it does, I think he's going to win a few.
McIlroy, now 31, responded: “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 need to play my best golf to have a chance.”