Cape Town - Rory McIlroy is motivated to join the five most legendary names in golf should he win the 2017 Masters.
Only Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Gary Player, Gene Sarazen and Ben Hogan have completed a career grand slam by winning all four of golf’s majors.
McIlroy just needs to add a Green Jacket to his Open Championship, USPGA Championship and US Open wins to make golfing history. This is something that inspires the Northern Irishman…
"It's a motivation, to be able to put your name alongside those five guys," the 27-year-old told augusta.com.
"But I think each and every year that passes that I don't, it will become increasingly more difficult."
McIlroy was in contention in 2016, just one stroke off the lead at the halfway stage. But a third round capitulation - a five over 77 - saw him fall out of the running.
He revealed that dealing with the pressure of a potential career grand slam is sometimes too much to bare.
"I was in a great position going into the weekend, and I just didn't play the golf I needed to when it really mattered," he continued.
"I've been in position before and I haven't got the job done when I needed to and I don't think that's anything to do with my game, I think that's more me mentally and I'm trying to deal with the pressure of it and the thrill of the achievement if it were to happen. I think that's the thing that’s really holding me back."
However, it’s not as though McIlroy continued to struggle on the big stage. Between his T10 finish at Augusta last year and now, McIlroy has recorded three wins and seven top-five finishes.
"I feel like I'm a good enough player...I feel like I've got everything I need to become a Masters champion," added the world number two.
"It's the biggest tournament of the year for me, for obvious reasons, and I've never made any secret about that. I'm very open about that. It is."
The 81st Masters tees off at Augusta on 6 April.