There are no entitlements at the Masters

Rory McIlroy (L), of Northern Ireland shares a laugh with his playing partner Tiger Woods on the...

Rory McIlroy (L), of Northern Ireland shares a laugh with his playing partner Tiger Woods on the 12th tee during first round play in the 2013 WGC-Cadillac Championship PGA golf tournament in Doral, Florida in this March 7, 2013 file photo. (REUTERS/Andrew Innerarity/Files)

KEN FIDLIN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:07 PM ET

Rory McIlroy's ill-fated start to the 2013 season made it easy to forget that the last time the creme-de-la-creme of golf's elite gathered for a major championship, at the 2012 PGA Championship, McIlroy turned Kiawah Island into his own private playground.

McIlroy was in a league by himself at The Ocean Course, winning by eight shots, the largest winning margin in PGA Championship history. On that day last August, McIlroy assumed what seemed his rightful spot at No. 1 in the world golf rankings.

But golf is nothing if not a meritocracy; there are no entitlements.

Three months into this season, McIlroy's cloak of invincibility was looking a bit moth-eaten. He had lost his No. 1 ranking, needed to apologize for walking out of a tournament mid-round and struggled with his swing as he adjusted to new equipment.


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