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Softly-softly McIlroy

Rory McIlroy has taken a softly-softly approach to The Masters.

McIlroy hasn't played competitively since last month's Cadillac World Championship at Doral; he is taking a markedly different approach to tournament golf in 2011.

He was bitterly disappointed to miss the cut for the first time at the Majors at Augusta last year, after a thrilling top-20 finish on his 2009 debut.

Though no longer hampered by the niggling back injury that troubled him last year, McIlroy has resolved to cut back on his playing commitments in future, prompting his decision to give up his PGA Tour card.

"I feel so much better about my whole season, my game, this year," explains the 21-year-old, fresh from "10 really good days of practice in Florida", where he played with Luke Donald, Dustin Johnson and friend Harry Diamond.

"If I play 30 events a year for the next 10 years I am going to get sick of it. You have to pace yourself. I am going to play 23-24 events this year.

"And I don't feel I need to play tournament rounds to get ready. My first tournament back out is usually my best one. So that's the strategy going into the Majors."

Irish Independent