Masters 2015: Rory McIlroy misses 'pure joy' of golf

Rory McIlroy
Rory McIlroy finished 15th at the Masters in 2014

World number one Rory McIlroy has admitted he does not love golf as much as he used to as a child.

The 25-year-old will complete a career grand slam if he adds the Masters, which starts on Thursday, to his Open, US Open and PGA Championship titles.

However, the Northern Irishman said: "I would be dishonest if I said my love of golf now is as big as it was back then.

"I don't love golf as much as when it was just pure joy to get on to the course to play."

He continued in the Daily Telegraph:external-link "When I was a kid, if I spent a day away from the game, I couldn't wait to get back. Now I can't wait for a week off.

"There's just not the 'I can't wait to get out of the house as quick as I can to get to the course' feeling.

"This is not a job. Let's face it, I've never done a day's work in my life. But it's an intense environment I play in and it's just nice to get away from it for a while."

Players to win all four golf majors
MastersUS OpenThe OpenPGATotal
Jack Nicklaus643518
Tiger Woods433414
Gary Player31329
Ben Hogan24129
Gene Sarazen12137

McIlroy won his first major, the 2011 US Open, aged 22, and has since won the US PGA in 2012 and 2014, and last year's Open at Royal Liverpool.

But he insists he will never live up to the profile of 14-time major winner Tiger Woods, who returns to the Masters this year after a voluntary leave of absence.

"People tell me I am the new face of golf, but that is a hard one for me to fathom because, growing up, I never even thought about being that," added McIlroy.

Rory McIlroy
McIlroy's first major came in the US Open in 2011 when he was 22

"Tiger Woods is the face of the game to the wider public and I don't think I'll ever be that, just because of who I am, who he is, what he represents and the people he brought to the sport.

"I'm never going to do that - it's not something that's going to be possible."

A programme on Northern Ireland's Major Champions will be shown on BBC2 Northern Ireland on Wednesday, 8 April at 19:00 BST.

You can listen to coverage of the Masters on BBC Radio 5 live and 5 live sports extra; watch live coverage of the final two rounds on BBC One, BBC Two and BBC Red Button and highlights of rounds on Friday. Follow live updates on BBC Sport Online from 9-12 April.

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