Nicklaus backing McIlroy to seal career Grand Slam with Masters win

Bryson De Chambeau and his caddie Tim Tucker go over yardage

McIlroy has a spring in his step this week, having won The Players Championship at Sawgrass in the build up and recording seven top-10 finishes this year. "Hopefully I can play my best golf", said Li, who has been invited to play at the prestigious tournament for a second consecutive year.

Plenty of his peers agree.

A field of 72 of the world's top women amateurs competed last week in the 54-hole tournament, the first two rounds taking place at neighboring Champions Retreat before the top 30 played the final round at Augusta National - the club founded in 1933 that excluded women until 2012.

"I think we're really lucky that for the first major of the year, a lot of the main guys are playing really well", he told Express Sport.

"I have just kept going, doing what I've been doing all year, biding my time trying to hit good shot after good shot".

In all honesty, the 14-time Major victor hasn't really done much this year, largely in part due to a stone-cold putter.

He went on to lose to Bubba Watson in a play-off, but his preparations this time around have been solid and he could go one better at around 35/1.

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Reed finished last year's event at 15-under to earn his first-ever major championship and green jacket, besting runner-up Rickie Fowler by just one stroke. There's so many different ways to do it and there's so many different things that you can do right.

"It's one of those weeks where anybody can win at any given point".

Since finishing 10 at The Masters a year ago, Johnson has won three tournaments, with the most recent triumph coming at the WGC-Mexico Championship in February.

"I think there's a very similar style of play during that week as there is here, and I'm looking forward to getting on this golf course where I don't feel so handcuffed that I can go ahead and let loose a little bit", said the 2013 Open champion. "So I just play my game and focus on my game", added the 23-year-old.

Woods, 43, admits he would never have foreseen the major drought that has followed his 14th major victory at the 2008 US Open.

"I don't think I've ever started a season this well", McIlroy, a victor of four majors with his most recent coming at the 2014 PGA Championship, was reported as saying by BBC Sport.

"I put myself in with a chance of winning the last two majors of previous year".

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