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Friday 30 September 2016

Players sceptical about McIlroy

Published 06/04/2015 | 19:11

Rory McIlroy has been handed a tough draw for the new-look WGC-Cadillac Match Play Championship in San Francisco
Rory McIlroy has been handed a tough draw for the new-look WGC-Cadillac Match Play Championship in San Francisco

Just 27 per cent of Rory McIlroy's fellow professionals think the world number one will complete the career grand slam by winning the Masters this week.

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But the good news for the 25-year-old is that he is far more popular than defending champion Bubba Watson, who cannot rely on too much support if he gets into a fight at Augusta National.

Those were among the results gleaned by an ESPN.com survey of 103 tour professionals - 21 of whom were major champions - who anonymously answered questions on a wide range of topics.

Asked if McIlroy would be wearing a green jacket on Sunday, 28 players said yes, 72 said no and three abstained.

Asked which player they would not help in a fight in the car park, Watson got double the number of responses (22.6 per cent) of second-place finisher Patrick Reed (11 per cent). Rory Sabbatini was third and Robert Allenby fourth.

Other topics covered in the survey included slow play and recreational drugs - Kevin Na was judged in need of the first one-shot penalty in 20 years on the PGA Tour, narrowly ahead of Ben Crane, while 40 players felt the Tour should stop testing for marijuana.

And on the subject of Tiger Woods, only seven per cent thought he would not win another major before the start of the season. However, after Woods missed the cut in Phoenix and withdrew from his next event after 11 holes, the numbers became 50/50.

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