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Rory McIlroy writes to Augusta member, wants practice rounds

By Kyle Porter | Golf Writer

Rory McIlroy ends his round with Jeff Knox in April. (Getty Images)
Rory McIlroy ends his round with Jeff Knox in April. (Getty Images)

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Remember when Rory McIlroy shot a third-round 71 at Augusta in April and got beat by his playing partner who was nothing more than a marker to keep pace of play rolling and we all made fun of him?

It's not so funny anymore.

McIlroy has reached out via written note to Augusta National member Jeff Knox -- who dropped a 70 on that Saturday -- to play a practice round before the 2015 Masters rolls around.

"I've always been comfortable from tee to green at Augusta," McIlroy said. "And it's taken me a few years to figure out the greens...if I can just figure out the greens a little bit more. What really helped me last year was playing with Jeff Knox in the third round. He's my amateur marker and he's the best I've ever seen on Augusta's greens."

High praise, and a title Knox isn't sure he deserves.

"It was quite an honor for him to say that," Knox said. "I don't know if shocked is the right word, but it was quite an honor. I happened to play good that day; I guess that helped."

Remember McIlroy joked after the round that he wanted Knox to three-putt No. 18.

"I thought he was going to be nice and three-putt the last and we would have a half, but he beat me by one," McIlroy said. "He obviously knows this place so well and gets it around. I don't think I've ever seen anyone putt the greens as well as he does around here. He was really impressive. I was thinking of maybe getting him to read a few of my putts out there."

Knox is 51 and holds the course record at Augusta of 61 (from the members tees) and now he holds what could be the keys to the career slam for just the sixth golfer in history.

McIlroy just needs to figure out how to not get in the same group as Knox again during the actual Masters.

For more golf news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnGolf and @KylePorterCBS on Twitter or Google+ and like us on Facebook.

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