Des Smyth and Peter Lawrie analyse Rory McIlroy's Masters chances

Wind and weather conditions could well be a factor

BY Raf Diallo 20:07 Wednesday 5 April 2017, 20:07 5 Apr 2017

Rory McIlroy, of Northern Ireland, talks to his caddie while walking to the 12th hole during a practice round for the Masters golf tournament Tuesday, April 4, 2017, in Augusta, Ga. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Could Rory McIlroy finally win the Masters and complete his quest of winning all four majors at least once? 

With Augusta on the horizon on Thursday, former European Ryder Cup vice captain Des Smyth and fellow Irish golfer Peter Lawrie joined Off The Ball at Luttrellstown and gave their take on McIlroy's chances of wearing that winners' green jacket on Sunday. The weather is one factor that could prove crucial.

"Being an Irishman I would love Rory McIlroy to win the Masters. But if it's windy conditions, is Rory a good wind player?" Lawrie began, also adding that the World No 2 has been practicising his putting with coach Phil Kenyon.

"I know he's done a lot of work with [putting] over the last week with Phil Kenyon. I think he spent a full week with him."

Smyth took up that point, saying, "He's a good wind player. But is he a good wind putter? And it's obviously the weakest part of his game. When he putts well, he wins. It's basically that simple. If he finds his putting, he can win this tournament."

As for their overall prediction for a winner, Lawrie said: "It's a tough choice. I can't see Dustin Johnson carrying on his form. I think somebody out of the pack is going to come in and win the Masters, somebody that we're not talking about right now."

But Smyth is not ruling out a Johnson triumph with the World No 1 looking to win a second major.

"His golf has been spectacular and he has amazing talent. I wouldn't be backing against him and he wants to win a Masters like all the big players. They want a Masters. They want a green jacket," he said. 

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