Saturday 24 March 2018

Declan Lynch: Rory meets his Nellie with a loud thunk

McIlroy is too much of a genius to have survived the sound of 'ball hitting tree', writes Declan Lynch

At RTE, the champagne, as always, was on ice. It was just a matter of time before the corks would be popping and the "Irish eyes" would be "smiling". In fact, I sensed that the champagne had already been opened when I heard the odd mention of how Rory McIlroy "will" become the first Irishman to win the Masters if he retains his four-shot lead. Or how he "will" be the youngest winner since Tiger Woods if he stays ahead of the field.

I shuddered a little, when I heard that note of over-confidence, suggesting that Rory was about to claim his manifest destiny.

Rory is a genius. But he is also Irish, up to a point. And even Paddy at his most extravagantly brilliant does not carry a lead so lightly into anything, let alone into Amen Corner on the fourth day at Augusta.

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