Rory McIlroy’s straight talking can often be mistaken for an arrogance that he possibly has not yet earned. Arrogance is hardly a trait that is allowed to be exhibited during any time, but given McIlroy’s age, there are times when a lingering silence follows his statements as the press and fans try and make out what he is actually saying.

When he pulled out of the Olympic games in Rio, he famously said that he didn’t start golf to grow the game and didn’t feel any obligation to take his clubs to Brazil after golf had returned to the Olympics after a 112-year hiatus. Some were shocked and some were angry, but did any of the current players on the European or PGA Tour start golf for the sole purpose of getting others to play?

It was another case of McIlroy being honest and that should be seen as a positive after all the watered-down and generic answers the players give. He was at his transparent best again after questioned about his schedule for 2018. The 28-year-old will be playing in an unprecedented eight events before the 2018 Masters but not before he has completed his three months away from the game

McIlroy was speaking about how beneficial they were going to be: “I’m not getting any younger, These three months off could give me the foundation to have the next ten years be better than the ten I’ve just had.”

Finishing off, McIlroy alluded to wanting turn a great career that he’s had into one of the greatest. There is still a modesty to what McIlroy says and a cutting truth. He has enjoyed a great career so far, but if it were to end without him hitting another shot, he wouldn’t be considered a great.

Those three months have been designed for the Northern Irishman to prepare for the Masters. If he wins that then he will take a giant step towards greatness with the completion of the Grand Slam aged only 28. It will be all the talk during the build-up as the world eagerly anticipates what McIlroy can do once he drives down Magnolia Lane; punters who think McIlroy can get the Masters monkey off his back in April can access $150 dollars of bonus bets when on tipping sites such as Champion Bets. It won’t be easy and McIlroy is only at 11/1 to win at Augusta, but it feels like it is his destiny to do so.

The more Rory McIlroy plays, the more it seems like the world is witnessing one of the truly great careers of all time unfolding. There is reason to believe the Northern Irishman also knows that and that could account for some of his answers that leave no one in any doubt about his ambitions.

There is still work to do and a field of the world’s finest golfers to beat if he wants to get to the heights he has set out for himself. Even if he doesn’t do it this year, he will have at least another 15 chances at Augusta where he goes in as favourite. That is the beauty of winning so much so early on; the pressure will be off as McIlroy stalks greatness.