PRIOR to the Masters at Augusta, the line on Rory McIlroy was that it would only be a matter of time before the world number one completed his Majors collection.

Which is fair comment for a supremely talented player who has won everything else the game has to offer and has the majority of his career still ahead of him.

Except that from now on every time the circuit heads to the idyllic Augusta National in Georgia, the question will always be “is this McIlroy’s year?”

It is something that will follow him around until he eventually triumphs and pulls on the coveted green jacket.

Time is on his side and there is every possibility that McIlroy, who finished fourth this year behind winner Jordan Spieth, could play at the top level for another two decades. But should he fail to win it next year and maybe the year after, the harder it will become and the pressure will mount.

After all, only five players in the modern era have completed the Grand Slam, with only Tiger Woods having done so since Jack Nicklaus in the 1960s.

McIlroy will know this and for that reason the sooner he can win at Augusta the better to ensure it is not a question he dreads facing in years to come.

At the age of 25, it is far from being a monkey on his back but that won’t stop the pundits asking both him and his fellow professionals about his chances every time April rolls round.