Rory McIlroy and Jamie Redknapp talk coronavirus, life at home and attacking the Masters

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Sky Sports’ Jamie Redknapp caught up with Rory McIlroy on Instagram to find out how the world’s number one golfer is spending his time during the coronavirus pandemic

Rory McIlroy has not touched a golf club for two weeks. Instead, the world No 1 is enjoying some unexpected free time at home, but still dreaming about breaking his Masters duck when play resumes.

He caught up with Sky Sports’ Jamie Redknapp on Instagram to reveal how he is spending his time during the coronavirus pandemic.

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McIlroy would ordinarily be preparing for the main event in Augusta, which was due to take place April 9-12.

But with every Tour coming to a standstill for at least the next few weeks and all UK golf courses closed temporarily, practice has stopped.

“I need something to practice for,” McIlroy said. “I have no idea when we are going to play again and I’d rather build myself up to something.

“I know if I go out there and hit balls, I’m not doing it for any purpose.

“I love golf and it has given me a lot of really great things but I think I love the competition more. If there’s no competition, then there’s nothing to look forward to.

“Right now, I am just enjoying spending some time at home, getting after it in the gym, and spending time by the pool or playing tennis.

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“I realise there are a lot of us who are very fortunate to have gyms in our house and all sorts of stuff so that we can keep busy.”

Speculation is mounting that the world’s best players will return to Augusta National in October.

With the PGA Championships also postponed, and the remaining majors – the US Open and The Open – at risk of being delayed too, there could be a fixture pile-up later in the year.

“Augusta play their cards close to their chest, they don’t really let much out of the bag,” McIlroy said.

“I hope that they play it in October. Potentially, you are looking at four majors, a Ryder Cup and the FedEx Cup in the space of 12 weeks.

“If we all get back to playing around mid-summer, it is going to be a hectic 12 or 15 weeks of all the big events.”

Asked by Redknapp if he feels under any extra pressure to win the Masters – the only major missing from his trophy cabinet – McIlroy said: “I still have plenty more chances.

“I’m 30 years old, Tiger was 43 when he won at Augusta [in 2019]. I feel like I’ve still got 10 to 15 years left of my career and my prime.

“I keep saying I have plenty of time, but every year that you don’t do it, obviously the pressure ramps up.”

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