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McIlroy And Harrington Hoping To Be In The Mix Come Sunday At The Masters

McIlroy And Harrington Hoping To Be In The Mix Come Sunday At The Masters
By Eoin Harrington

There are four Irish hopefuls at this year's Masters, which gets underway on Thursday.

Rory McIlroy, Padraig Harrington, and Shane Lowry are joined by first-time visitor to Augusta Seamus Power, giving Irish fans plenty to look out for.

Speaking ahead of the opening round, McIlroy and Harrington expressed their hopes for Green Jacket glory in 2022.

Augusta 2022: Harrington and McIlroy hopeful for weekend in Augusta

For Rory McIlroy, Augusta disappointment has regrettably become a recurring theme. The Northern Irishman has come up short at the Masters over the past decade, ever since his collapse from the lead in 2011.

This year, however, he's approaching the Masters with a very different attitude. Speaking to the media ahead of Thursday's opening round, McIlroy said that he hoped to use his previous disappointment in Augusta to change his mentality and help him towards the elusive Green Jacket.

When asked how he would react if he found himself in the lead, McIlroy said:

I guess if I find myself in that position again, be it this year or years down the line, I think being OK with not winning is not a bad thing.

I think sometimes the fear of losing can cripple you and make you tentative and not play the golf you want to play.

So actually confronting that fear and thinking ‘I’m going to play my game and if I play that game I’ll have a great chance to win’ and if it doesn’t happen it doesn’t happen.

I’ve had 13 years in a row of it not happening so I feel like I don’t have much to lose at this point.

McIlroy is one of four Irishmen teeing off on Thursday for this year's Masters. The hoodoo surrounding the Belfast man and the most prestigious event on the American golfing calendar is well established, but his comments ahead of the first round suggest he is in a better mindframe for 2022 than he has been in previous years.

Among the rest of the Irish contingent in Georgia this weekend is this infinitely experienced Padraig Harrington.

Like McIlroy, he is a winner of multiple majors, but is yet to taste glory at the Masters.

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Harrington had largely been out of the picture at majors in recent years, before his brilliant fourth place at last year's PGA Championship. The Dubliner has been rejuvenated by that finish, and hopes are high for another strong showing this weekend.

Speaking to RTÉ on Wednesday, Harrington said:

In my world, I believe I can win. I'm trying to prepare for Thursday with the attitude that it's going to be a long week. And that I can get myself in position on Sunday where I have a chance of winning this tournament.

Finishing fourth [at the 2021 PGA] was good for me. There's probably something in the back of my head after seeing a 50-year-old win. But I'd like to buck the trend anyway.

If a 50-year-old hadn't won, I'd like to be the one to do it. I'm quite contrarian like that, that I want to be the odd one and do it. I'm motivated. I like what I do, I'm clear. I'm here, it's serious. It's business.

It's set to be a brilliant weekend of golf at the Masters, and there's no doubt that Padraig Harrington and Rory McIlroy are both keen on becoming the first ever Irish golfer to don the famous Green Jacket.

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SEE ALSO: How The US Golf Media Rate The Chances Of The Irish At The Masters

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