By Brian Keogh
Brian Keogh is a golf correspondent for The Irish Sun and a contributor to The Irish Times, Golf Digest Ireland and other golf publications. The following excerpt from Brian’s Irish Golf Desk is used with permission.
RORY MCILROY FEELS SOMEWHAT AGGRIEVED that he didn't win the 2011 Masters but rather than feeling he's owed a green jacket, he will have go out and rip it off Jordan Spieth's back over the weekend.
The game's two young turks will go head to head on Saturday with Spieth's 74 leaving him a shot ahead of McIlroy, who played his last six holes in three under par to post a joint best of the day 71 in treacherous swirling winds.
It was surprising to hear McIlroy admit what he'd denied previously and confess that he feels the Masters owes him.
"I sort of feel that Augusta owes me something and I have come with that attitude," McIlroy said. "I have come here to get something that I should have had a long time ago. You need to be so focused and in control of your emotions here. It's about not getting fazed and mentally I have been good the last couple of days. I need to keep that going for the next two days."
McIlroy insisted the wasn't thinking too much about his duel with Spieth. But the American got any doubts about what it means when he said he'd be somewhat intimidated by the man from Northern Ireland.
"No, I don't think it's a comfort level," he said when asked about being paired with a player he likes. "I'd rather be playing with someone less threatening to be honest. He's certainly proven himself in majors. But I think it's going to be fun, a really fun challenge."
With the top 22 on the leaderboard covered by five shots it promises to be an exciting weekend with more carnage forecast on Saturday as the west wind is expected to blow hard once more.
Brian Keogh covers golf for The Irish Sun and contributes to a variety of golf publications. Pay him a visit at Irish Golf Desk.