It was only Monday and it was just a practice round, so read into it not too much in terms of significance. 

However, if Rory McIlroy goes on to win the Masters and thereby complete one of his most pressing career goals, then he might point to the hole-in-one in a competitive little practice day duel with England’s Chris Wood as a nice omen at the start of the week.  

The seven-iron shot from 170 yards on the 16th on Monday closed out the tussle, where McIlroy prevailed 3&2. As a result Wood had to buy dinner. 

Indeed, the Englishman was somewhat in awe of what happened and said: "He holed a seven iron and I never heard quite a noise like it actually. It was pretty mad, very, very impressive.

"He's going to be a favourite every year he comes back here and this year is no different."

And what was it like for the four-time Major winner? 

"I don't think I have ever heard a roar that large in a practice round," said McIlroy.

"It was great. It was a nice practice round and a bit of a highlight. And it ended the match as well.

"I played well. I feel like my game is in good shape. We both hit just one ball (off the tee). It gets me into a nice mindset of this is how I'm going to play, so I'm going to try to do the same tomorrow, play 18 and a match with someone.

"I feel that's the best way for me to prepare. It's competitive. You're trying to shoot a score.

"The pins aren't in the spots where they are going to be at the weekend, but at the same time you still have to get the ball in the hole and hole putts that you feel a little bit of pressure on."

For McIlroy, that kind of flourish on the 16th generated the kind of roar he'll be hoping to hear deep into the back nine on Sunday.

His change of approach this year in his Masters preparation saw him use his week off from the PGA Tour last week to practice at the Bear's Club in Florida under the eye of the man who has coached him since he was a boy - Michael Bannon.

Monday was the first time he stepped onto the pristine Augusta National this week and he walked off it with a definite spring in his step.                      

You can follow updates from Greg Allen on the course on RTÉ Radio and there'll be a live blog on all four rounds of the Masters on RTÉ.ie.