Gary Player says he loves the way McIlroy plays
Nine-time major winner Gary Player says he "has a feeling" 21-year-old Rory McIlroy could win the Green Jacket this week. "McIlroy is so talented," said Player. "I just love the way he plays golf. However, we don't know how he will rise to the occasion if he comes down the line [on Sunday] and he's leading". (Reuters)
Japanese amateur Hideki Matsuyama has taken a last-minute decision to accept an invitation to play at Augusta. The 19-year-old attends university in Sendai, an area that suffered heavily when the earthquake and tsunami struck on 11 March. Matsuyama said: "I have decided to play because so many people have pushed me, the people at my university who have suffered, and my teammates and my parents, who made me start to play the sport of golf." (AFP)
Matsuyama's countryman Ryo Ishikawa believes he can encourage the people of his homeland through his performance. Ishikawa announced last week he was to donate all of his tournament earnings for 2011 to relief efforts, plus an extra $1,200 (about £750) for each competition birdie he makes. "I would like to emphasize the power and energy that sports can create for those people," he said. "I believe that as I play, I'm connected with the people that are affected by the disaster through the donation." (Associated Press)
Masters debutant Ricky Fowler is upbeat about his chances this week. "If I go into the week with high expectations, I feel like there's a chance we could be walking up 18 [on Sunday] in contention," said Fowler. (Reuters)
American Jeff Overton, also a Masters rookie, says he took some key advice from 14-time major champion Tiger Woods during 27 holes of practice at Augusta last week. "It was cool to pick his brain," said Overton. "He was totally open about how to play certain shots. I learnt a ton."
Full story: USA Today
Dave Alred, kicking coach to England rugby international Jonny Wilkinson, has been helping Luke Donald become an "assassin" this season. Alred uses the metaphor as a mental strength technique to aid the world number four. He said: "With Luke, 'assassin' is the simplest metaphor. When you're ready, it's one shot, one chance and you need to hit right between the eyes. You don't get a second chance."
Full story: The Sun