A number of players are coming into Augusta National hot like Jason Day, Adam Scott and Bubba Watson. After a strong Sunday front nine at the Shell Houston Open, throw defending champion Jordan Spieth into the mix.
Because of this crowd, as well as not winning a PGA Tour event since May of last year, Rory McIlroy has been suspiciously overshadowed. Quite the 180-degree turn from last season, when Rory, off consecutive major titles at Liverpool and Valhalla, entered the Masters as golf's conquering hero.
Yet, any worries that McIlroy was going under the radar were diminished during Monday's practice round, as the 26-year-old recorded a hole-in-one on Augusta National's 16th hole.
Better yet, Rory was playing a friendly match against Chris Wood. The ace gave the match to McIlroy 3&2.
"Not easy (to match) when the crowd is chanting 'Rory, 'Rory,'" Wood joked.
Now THAT'S announcing your presence at Augusta National with authority.