AUGUSTA, Ga. – How good is Rory McIlroy nowadays?
He can prepare for the Masters and help out maybe golf’s greatest player.
McIlroy was practicing Monday at The Bear’s Club in Jupiter, Fla., but he wasn’t the only one tuning up for a tee shot at Augusta National’s opening hole.
Jack Nicklaus was grinding it out with a few drivers, according to McIlroy, and kept hitting the ball left. So McIlroy offered to adjust Nicklaus’ driver.
“I said, ‘If you adjust this, it might help,’ ” McIlroy said.
The Northern Irishman proved correct, as he adjusted the driver and Nicklaus started hitting little fades.
But what had Nicklaus out there working so hard in the first place?
Well, a couple of weeks ago Gary Player ribbed Nicklaus about outdriving him at the ceremonial opening tee shot at last year’s Masters.
The Golden Bear wants to avenge that.
“I adjusted his driver for him because he’s trying to hit it longer than Gary Thursday morning,” McIlroy said.
Nicklaus and Player will be back at it Thursday hitting the ceremonial opening tee shots, and with hard work, Nicklaus may get what he wanted.
Of course, that would be with some help from his not-so-secret weapon, who added that he wanted to be credited if all goes well.
“I told (Jack), if he hits it longer than Gary, I want a mention because I adjusted the weight in his driver,” McIlroy said.
But is Player scared? Honestly, maybe a little bit.
The best part of all this, though, is that Nicklaus is as feisty as ever at age 77. That’s not lost on McIlroy.
“It’s amazing how competitive he still is,” McIlroy said. “It’s unbelievable.”
We’ll know just how good McIlroy’s work is in two days.