Rory McIlroy believes he is ready to complete his career grand slam of major titles at the Masters this week after eradicating some of the past ‘scar tissue’ at Augusta last year when finishing second behind Scottie Scheffler.

The 33-year-old, who hasn’t won a major since 2014, used a cooking analogy to say that he had ‘all the right ingredients’ to win a coveted green jacket, but just needs to ‘set the oven at the right temperature’.

McIlroy believes he has the all-round game to succeed at Augusta but that it is his temperament that has got in the way of him winning

The world No 2 arrives as one of the pre-tournament favourites to end his major drought and become just the sixth player to win the Grand Slam, having enjoyed top-10 finishes in half his previous 14 appearances. McIlroy famously squandered a four-shot lead during the final day of the Masters in 2011 and has enjoyed several near misses since, including last year’s runner-up behind Scheffler, who is clear favourite with the bookmakers on the back of two wins this season already.

“I felt last year that I maybe shed some of that scar tissue and felt like I made breakthroughs,” McIlroy said. “I’m feeling as relaxed as I ever have coming in here in that I feel like my game is in a pretty good place. I know the place [Augusta National] just as about as well as anyone. I’ve always felt like I have the physical ability to win this tournament, but it’s being in the right head space to let those physical abilities shine through.”

Alluding to where he thinks he has got his strategy wrong in the past, he added: “It has been tentative starts, not putting my foot on the gas early enough. I’ve had a couple of bad nine holes that have thrown me out of the tournament at times. But I know that I’ve got everything there. It’s just a matter of putting it all together.”

Despite all the positive vibes, McIlroy is all too aware that there have been many good players before him whose game’s have seen suited to Augusta who haven’t managed to win.

“There have been players before that it has been said that this course is tailor-made for them and they haven’t gone on to win a green jacket,” McIlroy added. “That’s always in my mind, too. Just because a place is deemed perfectly set up for your game, it doesn’t automatically mean that you’re going to win it one day. There’s more to it than that. There’s also been players that you would think this golf course wouldn’t set up well for them, and they have won. It’s a factor and it’s nice to know that I come back to this place every year and that if I played the way I know that I can, that I should have a good chance. I don’t need to do anything differently this week.”

McIlroy will have to wait until 6.48pm (BST), the penultimate tee time, to get his 2023 Masters under way on Thursday in the company of recent WGC Match Play winner Sam Burns and Korea’s Tom Kim.

Thursday Featured Groups (BST)
3.18pm – Tiger Woods, Viktor Hovland, Xander Schauffele
3.42pm – Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm, Cameron Young
6.36pm – Scottie Scheffler, Max Homa, Sam Bennett
7.00pm – Jordan Spieth, Tommy Fleetwood, Tony Finau

For the full list of tee times for Thursday and Friday, click here.