Rory McIlroy warned of fellow European to upset Masters 2019 hopes

Patrick Reed and Rory McIlroy

Patrick Reed and Rory McIlroy

The Masters is the second-largest purse of the four major championships, with the the US Open offering the largest purse in golf at $12 million.

Chairman, Augusta National Golf Club and the "Masters" Tournament, Fred S. Ridley, speaks during a ceremony to present new champion Patrick Reed of the U.S.

The 2019 Masters Tournament begins on Thursday and runs through Sunday. Like so many other holes, it's been overpowered by stronger players and longer equipment, so Augusta National extended it from 455 to 495 yards.

Phil Mickelson reckons Tiger Woods can roar again in The Masters as he bids to bridge a 14-year gap to claim a fifth Green Jacket.

"I try to keep the same routine every week and the same group of people in the same house and it simplifies things for Major weeks because they are probably some of the most stressful weeks you're going to play".

Rory McIlroy has said he is using meditation and juggling to help prepare for the Masters, as he attempts to complete golf's grand slam of majors at Augusta National this week.

The club's level of secrecy also extends to any plans it may or may not have to amend its grounds or the surrounding areas.

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A State Department official told NPR, "Visa records are confidential under USA law; therefore, we can not discuss the details of individual visa cases".

Ridley said that many members told him they'd never been prouder to be a member of Augusta National. I think one of the great things about this course is it forces you to be creative and I like that side of the game. "This is a private institution".

"There's something about Augusta National when someone walks through the gates, they know that it's a place of respect, of beauty, and honoring traditions and values of the game".

The zero-tolerance mobile phone policy is one that Augusta National zealously monitors.

Asked at a news conference at Augusta on Tuesday about how he uses his meditation routine to prepare himself mentally ahead of rounds, McIlroy said: "Look, I'm not going to go and live with the monks for a couple months in Nepal, but just to be able to get your mind in the right place and be able to focus and to centre yourself".

Like all Masters champions, fellow Spaniard Sergio Garcia became an honorary member with his triumph in 2017, a win that perhaps afforded him a sneak peak behind the mystique spawned by the secrecy that surrounds the club.

For Garcia, Augusta National's combination of exclusivity and secrecy are easily part of what makes it so special.

"If you say or you show everything that you have obviously it's not quite the same", said Garcia. I'm very comfortable with this golf course.

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