Rory McIlroy might be missing this week’s “Fifth Major” but stars Charl Schwartzel and Graeme McDowell are convinced he’ll soon have the real thing.
The 22-year old Ulsterman is skipping The Players at Sawgrass due to a scheduling decision he made with his management company and also because he doesn’t fancy the course.
But Masters champion Schwartzel and US Open winner McDowell believe the world No 6 will win a major soon.
In fact, Schwartzel was impressed how McIlroy took his Masters meltdown on the chin and even asked to have a picture taken as they flew to Malaysia the following week.
The South African said: “We stayed in the same hotel, so I saw Rory a lot. I think the way he handled it was really spectacular. I mean, he must have been obviously hurting, but I think everyone else around him took it a lot further than he did.
“It looked like he forgot about it very quickly and got on with it and that’s the sort of guy he is. I think with that sort of attitude he’ll be back and winning certainly some major championships. It was his idea to have a photo of us on the plane with me wearing the green jacket.
“I didn’t want to sort of shove the jacket in his face. Obviously I had it in my hands and I just put it in the cupboard.
“After that he said ‘where’s the jacket? I want a photo with it.’
“I thought that was pretty cool. It’s never nice being on that end after what happened and for him to suggest that takes some courage.”
McDowell dismissed fears for McIlroy, Nick Watney and Dustin Johnson after all three blew big leads and shot in the 80s in the final rounds of the last three majors.
On McIlroy, he said: “I felt bad for him. I felt awful for him. I spoke to him via text message that night. I thought he handled himself like the gentleman he is, the sportsman he is.
“He’s got a great attitude, great role model for young kids to see how to compose themselves and carry themselves on the golf course. Just watch him play 18 holes; he’s got great energy, and he’ll certainly do great things in the game.”