Former world number one Rory McIlroy is trying to temper the amount of pressure he puts on himself ahead of the Masters.
McIlroy started the year with two top-three finishes on the European Tour, but he has not found the same success this year on the PGA Tour, missing the cut at Pebble Beach and then finishing tied for 20th at last week's Genesis Open.
With just a few scheduled events before the four-time major champion tries to earn the career grand slam at Augusta National in April, McIlroy is trying to curb expectations as he prepares for the Honda Classic, starting in Florida on Thursday.
"You don't have to win a tournament [before the Masters]," McIlroy, playing in his current hometown, said. "You look at, you know, obviously Sergio going in last year, had won a tournament. Danny Willett the year before had won a tournament.
"But I don't think it's necessary, but obviously if you do win one, it makes you feel a little better about yourself going there. But I don't think it's imperative. I think as long as you know that your game is in good shape and you're happy with all aspects, because again, the margins between winning and losing are so fine that you could be really happy with your game one week and finish 10th, and actually not feel great about it and have a chance to win.
"So that's how fine the margins are out here. So I don't think it's imperative to, but obviously to get a win under your belt, it does make you feel a bit better going into it. Yeah, I don't want to put myself under that pressure because there's enough going into Augusta, anyway."
McIlroy has had some success at the Honda Classic, winning in 2012 and losing a play-off two years later, but the Northern Irishman has also endured some rough finishes at PGA National.
"Feast or famine, that's what my history's been here," he said. "It's a tough golf course. Some guys play the West Coast and it's sort of one week too many for them.
"I don't want to get beaten up again. That's why a few guys mightn't be here. I think it magnifies if your game's off just a touch. If you miss it just by tiny margins here, it can punish you quite heavily. But if you're on, it gives you opportunities to score, and I think that's what's happened."
Despite McIlroy's tumultuous past at this venue, he believes there are ways to attack the course.
"I think it's usually windy here. It looks like it's going to be breezy for the week, so controlling your ball flight is a big thing," McIlroy said. "I think being conservative off the tee is something that you have to do here to play, especially with the way the rough is. Play out of the fairway. Hitting greens; it's a ball-striker's golf course. You can't up-and-down it around here and expect to win. You have to hit fairways. You have to hit greens and you have to just take your chances when they come along.
"But this week with the way the wind is, it's a par 70; you shoot four scores in the 60s, you're not going to be that far away."
|Dybala and Icardi´s World Cup hopes doused by Sampaoli|
|Pierre-Paul joins revamped Bucs pass rush in trade|
|I almost s*** myself - Pique on Keane rant|
|BREAKING NEWS: UEFA order PSG to close Auteuil stand|
|Cummins puts Australia in control as South Africa collapse after tea|
|Surgery on both elbows for ´different animal´ Parker|
|Director of rugby Kennedy leaves London Irish|
|Brilliant Bale basks in Wales record|
|Romo hits back-to-back birdies on PGA Tour debut|
|Neuer needs to play to make Germany´s World Cup squad – Low|
|All we can do is take it on the chin - Bayliss responds to Auckland humiliation|
|China 0 Wales 6: Record-breaking Bale leads demolition job in perfect start for Giggs|
|Curry closer to return than Durant - Kerr|
|Alonso expects McLaren to be at ´lowest level´ in Melbourne|
|Serena´s conqueror and a new tennis superstar - who is Naomi Osaka?|
|Bale becomes Wales´ record goalscorer with China hat-trick|
|Hamilton warns Ricciardo not to rock Red Bull boat|
|It could have been worse! England´s lowest Test totals|
|The ´reality for people with a brain´ is Manchester United are in transition, Mourinho claims|
|Black Caps seamer savours Boult from the blue|
|West Ham ban disruptive fans for life after Burnley chaos|
|Storm respond by beating Cowboys|
|Ten wickets in 79 minutes - a timeline of England´s Auckland horror show|
|England´s bleak winter sinks to new low|
|Iniesta hints at post-World Cup international retirement|
|All we do is talk s*** - Pique goads Madrid stars over WhatsApp|
|England like rabbits in the headlights - Bayliss|
|Euro 2016 humiliation helped England, claims Dele Alli|
|58 all out! Shambolic England overshadow Broad milestone|
|Iniesta confident of two more years in Barcelona starting XI|
|Kane probably the best striker in the world - Maguire|
|Broad strikes again – the Opta data behind the England bowler´s 400th wicket|
|Wenger told Wilshere he could leave Arsenal|
|An India hat-trick and THAT Ashes annihilation: Broad´s finest Test spells|
|Broad removes Latham to claim 400th Test wicket|
|If you play for Atletico, you must be committed – Koke responds to Griezmann speculation|
|LeBron´s historic night leads Cavs past Raptors, Howard tallies rare 30-30|
|Del Potro, Cilic loom for Haase and Herbert|
|Giggs: Bale will feature for Wales in China Cup|
|Serena releases statement after skipping media following Miami loss|
|England bowled out for 58 in 130-year Test low|
|Maradona: Messi doesn´t have to prove himself by winning World Cup|
|Cavs tally worst defensive half of season against Raptors|
|McIlroy, Johnson stunned on day one in Austin|
|Cristiano Ronaldo hasn´t asked to leave Real Madrid amid China links – Perez|
|Oakland Athletics allowing fans to pick price of tickets, all proceeds to charity|
|Ginobili: Spurs not expecting Kawhi Leonard to return this season|
|Trout, Angels brass confident Shohei Ohtani will be a star|
|Osaka wanted to impress Serena with stunning Miami Open win|
|Manchester United apply for professional women´s team|
|Bolt hopes fellow Jamaican breaks his world record|
|Bolt a fan of Ronaldo, but compares his talent to Messi´s|
|Outstanding Osaka knocks out Williams in Miami opener|
|Del Potro ´tired´ heading into Miami Open|
|Heynckes definitely leaving at end of season, claims Ze Roberto|
|Joshua tells Wilder to be ´realistic´ in negotiations|
|Shaw issue a distraction from Manchester United´s failures, says Neville|
|Hamsik withdraws from Slovakia squad|
|RFU backs Jones despite awful Six Nations|
|Hamilton eyes Melbourne pole record, 100 club for Vettel? - Australian GP in numbers|
|Griezmann backs Pogba to prove doubters wrong for France|
|Sanchez ´expected something better´ from Manchester United move|
|WATCH: Thomas conjures up great escape in Austin|
|Javi Martinez in the dark over Spain squad omission|
|Jones should have managed England workload - Flood|
|Giggs feeling the tension ahead of Wales debut|
|Juventus confirm Alex Sandro thigh injury|
|Hart praises ´loyal guy´ Southgate amid World Cup axe fears|
|Windies singing in the rain as they clinch World Cup spot|
|I miss Morata, says recalled Costa|