Meditation and juggling - Rory McIlroy taking alternative route in search of Grand Slam
Rory McIlroy has vowed to shut out thoughts of the career Grand Slam as he makes his 11th bid for a Masters green jacket this week.
"That's definitely not a good place (mentally) to be in," he insisted last night of the pressure to join a select list of just five players who have won all four Majors in their careers. "It's not just about one week," he said. "This is a lifelong journey of trying to improve and learn."
McIlroy, who begins his latest bid for Masters glory at 4.15pm Irish time tomorrow alongside American Rickie Fowler and Australian Cameron Smith, comes to Augusta this time as tournament favourite.
And in an extraordinarily philosophical press conference, he spoke about how the use of meditation, ball juggling, candid chats with putting guru Brad Faxon, and even visits to the Central Institute for Human Performance in Jupiter, Florida as part of his new mental approach have helped him make a flying start to 2019.
Entourage "Look, I'm not going to go and live with the monks for a couple of months in Nepal!" he joked while confirming that CIHP medical director, Dr Clayton Skaggs, is part of his entourage this week.
Admitting that he meditated for 20 minutes before his final round in the Players Championship last month, McIlroy revealed: "I guess I've dabbled in it over the years and I've needed it from time to time, but I never fully immersed myself in it. Again it's searching until you find what resonates with you and maybe what resonates with me isn't going to resonate with someone else.
"But I've found what I feel is the best path forward for me and I'm committed to it. My routine now consists of meditation, juggling, mind-training, you know doing all the stuff to get yourself in the right place.
"I would dearly love to win this tournament one day. If it doesn't happen this week, that's totally fine. I'll come back next year and have another crack at it.
"But I'm happy with where everything is, body, mind, game."