Form players a Masters threat to McIlroy says McGinley; left-handers also dangerous

Form players a Masters threat to McIlroy says McGinley; left-handers also dangerous
 Paul McGinley speak on Golf Channel on Friday

Paul McGinley speak on Golf Channel on Friday

Paul McGinley admitted that Rory McIlroy's indifferent Masters record, the form of a string of top players and the recent dominance of the left-handers will make it tough for him to win his third straight major and his first green jacket at Augusta National.

Speaking as an analyst for Golf Channel, the 2014 European Ryder Cup captain said: "Rory's record at Augusta isn't stellar and there are a lot of players on form. We've just spoken about Jordan (Spieth) and Jimmy (Walker) playing great and (Henrik) Stenson is showing a lot of form as well too.

"It's all up in the air but the one thing that freaks me about Augusta is the amount of success left-handers have had in recent times."  

McGinley's co-analyst Arron Oberholser, who was 14th behind Phil Mickelson in the 2006 Masters, pointed out that since 2003, six of the 12 winners have been left handers. 

 The landing area on the 13th at Augusta National. Picture © Brian Keogh

The landing area on the 13th at Augusta National. Picture © Brian Keogh

"That's not a co-incidence," the American said. "In 2003 the ProV1x came out - the three-piece hard ball.

"My theory is that right handers have a harder time drawing the ball because when you draw the ball as a right hander around Augusta on certain shots — 13, where you really have to draw it hard comes to mind — the ball wants to dive out of the air. There is not enough spin on a draw to be able to hold your line and keep it in the air.

"Now with a fade, naturally the ball spins more and a lefty, especially a big hitting lefty like Bubba (Watson) he can spin that ball a lot more. The ball stays in the air and the ball curves a lot more easily for him. And you can control a fade a lot more than you can control a draw, especially with this new golf ball and the new technology over the last 12 years.

"So I really thing that that's been a huge deal with Mike Weir winning once in 2003, Phil Mickelson win three times and Bubba winning twice. I think Bubba is going to win at least one more before it is all said and done."

McIlroy has a mixed record at Augusta National, where last year's tie for eighth was his best finish in six appearance.

After finishing tied 20th on his debut in 2009, was cut in 2010 and 15th in 2011 having led by four shots with a round to go. In 2012 he tied for 40th while two years ago he was joint 25th.