On Thanksgiving, Lucy promised that she wouldn’t pull the football away. “The most important tradition of all is the kicking off of the football,” she said. Dubious and emotionally scarred from past encounters with the pigskin, Charlie Brown thought to himself, “She wouldn’t try to trick me on a traditional holiday. This time I’m gonna kick that football clear to the moon!” After whiffing yet again, Charlie Brown fell flat on his back. Lucy stood above him and said, “Isn’t it peculiar, Charlie Brown, how some traditions just slowly fade away?”

Rory McIlroy shot 72-77 this week, missing the cut at the Masters by five shots. It’s the second time in the last three years that McIlroy will miss the weekend at Augusta National. More importantly, it means that McIlroy has now whiffed in his last nine attempts to complete the career grand slam.

The top-ranked player in the Official World Golf Ranking to start the year, McIlroy entered the week one of the betting favorites and one of the sentimental storylines of the 2023 Masters. “I don’t think I’ve ever walked away from this tournament as happy as I am today,” McIlroy said after his final-round 64 and runner-up finish at the 2022 tournament. “It gives me confidence going forward not only into the next Masters next year but to the rest of the season as well.”

The issue with knowing that you, and only you, are capable of creating the storybook moment has to weigh heavy on your mind. That was the case last summer when McIlroy ultimately came up short at St. Andrews.  “No one wants me to win [the Masters] more than me,” McIlroy confirmed this week.

Next April, Rory will arrive at Augusta National and try to win the grand slam for the 10th time. It’s a tradition now—one we hope eventually fades away.