Rory McIlroy has to win the Masters to complete the career Grand Slam, and the world No. 1 is thinking that an unprecedented move to November could be exactly what he needs to win the green jacket.
McIlroy has experienced the heartbreak of several close calls at the Masters over the years, including the 2011 meltdown and coming up short against Patrick Reed while playing alongside him in the final group in the 2018 tournament. In November, though, Augusta National will play differently because the climate will be different than April in Georgia. Speaking with Michelle Wie on an Instagram Live chat for Nike Golf, McIlroy explained why that may give him an edge.
Speaking to Michelle Wie on an Instagram Live with Nike Golf, McIlroy said:
"November is going to be different, very cold, the course could play very long. It plays long already but it can play very long," McIlroy said. "The greens may not be as fast as in April, depending on the moisture."
McIlroy is one of the longest and straightest drivers of the golf ball on the planet. His strokes gained off the tee is typically at the top of the PGA Tour pack. He's also a streaky putter, meaning softer, slightly slower greens may help him because he can attack a little more aggressively and not be quite as defensive with his putting.
He added, "It's going to be a different Masters this year but personally, maybe selfishly, that's what I need to get the jacket."
The Northern Irishman also hopes the Masters being at the back of the year will have him in the flow of whatever becomes of the 2020 PGA Tour schedule.
"I think it will be a different feel, it's at the back end of the year," he said. "Two of the majors have already been played, hopefully the Ryder Cup's already been played. People will be in their routine and in the flow a little bit more."
McIlroy, who is one of three active male golfers who are one major from completing the career Grand Slam, is looking forward to getting back to Augusta, no matter when it might be.
"The Masters means so much," he said. "Obviously it's the last major for me to win but putting that aside, it is such a special place, so many great memories already. Any time you get to play at Augusta is a lot of fun."