Nicklaus backs McIlroy for Masters title

2018-04-05 12:05
Rory McIlroy (AP)

Cape Town - Golfing legend Jack Nicklaus, who has won the Masters Tournament six times, is backing Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy to win his first title at Augusta National on Sunday. 

WATCH: Jack Nicklaus' son has ace at Par-3 Contest

Should McIlroy manage to win his first Masters title to go along with his four other major title haul, he will become the sixth player to complete a career Grand Slam along with Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Gary Player, Ben Hogan and Gene Sarazen. 

And Nicklaus feels the 28-year-old is more than capable of doing so. If form is something to go by, then McIlroy looks ready after claiming an impressive victory in the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill last month. 

In an interview carried by the Golf Channel, Nicklaus said in his opinion McIlroy was driving the ball well and doing likewise with his putting. 

"I talked to him this weekend and saw a few things and he is really swinging well, the best I've ever seen him swing," according to Nicklaus. "He obviously putted very well at Bay Hill so he's going to be tough to beat. 

"If you picked anybody he'd be the number one to pick and rightly so. He's probably playing better than anyone else." 

Having already won the US Open (2011), The Open Championship (2014) and the PGA Championship (2012, 2014) Nicklaus believes the Northern Irishman has already won the three hardest majors.

"You play it [Augusta National] every year, you can prepare for it easier, once you play the greens you should know them," added Nicklaus. "If you're not a long, high-ball player you can eliminate half the field before you even start. 

"No tournament is easy to win, don't misunderstand me, but of the majors, a top player has a better shot here than any other place."

Read more on:    pga tour  |  masters  |  jack nicklaus  |  rory mcilroy  |  golf

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk


There are FIVE South Africans competing at this year's Masters. Who will fare best?

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.