April 14 (UPI) -- Golfer Rory McIlroy thinks he might have a better shot at winning his first Masters title this year, due to the major championship being moved from April to November.
The No. 1 player in the Official World Golf Ranking made the comment during an appearance Monday on Nike Golf's Instagram Live.
"I feel like there's anticipation going to Augusta, the first big event of the year," McIlroy said. "There's all this hype. I don't think it'll feel like that this year.
"I think it'll feel a little bit different, which I'm looking forward to. It's going to be a different Masters, and personally, selfishly, maybe that's what I need to get the [green] jacket."
The tournament was originally planned to conclude Sunday but it's been postponed to Nov. 12-15 at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Ga., due to restrictions brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.
McIlroy is a four-time major champion but he's never won the Masters. He has finished in the top 10 in five of his last six showings at the prestigious tournament.
"November is going to be different," McIlroy said of this year's championship. "It's going to be cold. The course can play very long. I mean, it plays long already, but it could play very long. The greens might not be as fast as they usually are in April, depending on the moisture ... It's the back end of the year as two of the majors have already been played --hopefully, the Ryder Cup's already been played.
"People might be in their routines and in their flow a little bit."
McIlroy isn't the only one who thinks his chances are better this year. Jack Nicklaus shared similar thoughts during an appearance last week on the Golf Channel's Morning Drive.
"[McIlroy] seems to play better in the fall," Nicklaus said. "As you know, he's won the Tour Championship a couple times. Played in Atlanta, very similar conditions. I think this scheduling will be to Rory's favor."
McIlroy has played in 11 Masters championships. He held a lead after three rounds in 2011 before carding an 80 on the final 18 holes and finishing 15th. He won the 2011 U.S. Open, the 2012 and 2014 PGA Championship and the 2014 British Open.
The 2020 British Open has been canceled rather than postponed, while the Masters, PGA Championship and U.S. Open are planning to stage their tournaments at a later date. The PGA Championship is the next major tournament on the schedule, set for Aug. 6-9 at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco. The U.S. Open, usually played in June, is scheduled to begin Sept. 17.
McIlroy has finished in the top five in each of the seven tournaments he has played this season. He tied for 21st at the 2019 Masters, which was won by Tiger Woods.