2017 Masters

7. Rory McIlroy’s career slam can’t be taken for granted

To a degree, it seems crazy to even suggest McIlroy won’t win a Masters at some point in his career. He’ll turn 28 in May, so there’s still plenty of time. Additionally, McIlroy has four top-10 finishes at Augusta including three in a row.

That doesn’t even include the 2011 Masters, which he dominated for three rounds before collapsing on Sunday.

So, he didn’t come through this year, but it’s just a matter of time. Right?

It’s certainly possible. But consider a coupleĀ things.

Greg Norman finished in fourth place at the 1981 Masters, his first trip to Augusta. From 1986-1989, he finished in the top-five every year at the Masters. But Norman never won.

Phil Mickelson has finished in second place at the U.S. Open six times. When Payne Stewart beat him in 1999, did anyone really think hat he’d still be without a win in his national championship 18 years later?

McIlroy was never really a factor at Augusta this year. It’s the third Masters in a row where he’s had a chance to complete the career slam, and while three straight top-10 appearances looks fine, those finishes are fool’s gold. He was never a factor in any.

Even if a McIlroy win at Augusta seems inevitable, it’s not something we can take to the bank.