PGA Tour

McIlroy looks for fast start

2014-02-19 10:15
Rory McIlroy (File)

Marana - Rory McIlroy makes his 2014 US debut Wednesday at the World Golf Championships Match Play Championship with hopes of a strong start after two top-10 European Tour showings.

Sign up for Sport24’s daily Morning Glory/Super Rugby/Soccer newsletter!

The 24-year-old from Northern Ireland, already a two-time major champion, shared second with Phil Mickelson at Abu Dhabi last month and shared ninth earlier this month at Dubai after ending last year with an Australian Open victory.

"It has been a nice positive start to the season," McIlroy said on Tuesday. "I have just tried to continue that the last couple of weeks, practiced hard.

"I have worked hard and I feel like I'm seeing the results of that now."

That effort gets its first competitive test when seventh-ranked McIlroy, a top seed in his quarter of the draw, opens the 64-man knockout event against American Boo Weekley.

"You have to get off to a fast start and be ready to go from the get-go," McIlroy said. "You have to choose your time to be aggressive but you have to get as many birdies as you can."

McIlroy, who is engaged to tennis star Caroline Wozniacki, is a great contrast to outdoorsman Weekley, who enjoys hunting and fishing.

"I'm not sure we share many common interests," McIlroy said. "I've never been hunting before in my life."

McIlroy would face Britain's Lee Westwood in the second round if he wins and the Englishman ousts US ninth seed Harris English. Spanish second seed Sergio Garcia, English third seed Ian Poulter and South African fourth seed Charl Schwartzel could await him before the semi-finals.

"I know I'm playing Boo. I haven't looked at it after that," McIlroy said. "You just have to take it one match at a time. Looking forward to playing a little golf."

Saying what constitutes progress is tricky, McIlroy said, given the match-play format.

"I could shoot a 67 and be going home," McIlroy said. "It's hard to even put a number. If I get to the quarter-finals it's a good week."

McIlroy won five times in 2012, including a major title at the PGA Championship, and says, "I can do better than that. I would like to have seasons that are similar or try and do better."

- McIlroy better off than 2013 -

For sure, it's better than last year at this time, when McIlroy was struggling after an equipment change and the questions about it.

"It's much more settled. Everything is much more in a good place," he said. "Compared to this time last year, it's so much different."

McIlroy says the year's first major, the Masters in April, is not yet a key focus as he works on his game in events this week and in south Florida the next two weeks.

"After these three weeks, it will be about the Masters and getting prepared for it," McIlroy said. "It's about these tournaments and trying to play well and trying to get a win under your belt."

This week, he says, that will require proper touch with his short game.

"You are going to have to chip really well," McIlroy said. "There are times when you are going to hit a good shot but you might not necessarily be on the green."


Clark not put off by putter

2014-07-28 20:27


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
  • SS3
    Wed, 30 Jul 2014 @
  • SS4
    Wed, 30 Jul 2014 @
  • Blitz
    Wed, 30 Jul 2014 @
  • SS5
    Wed, 30 Jul 2014 @
Video Highlights
Sport Talk


Which is your favourite event on the golfing calendar?

Featured Blog

Dave ask if you would like to meet your local sports heroes and stand the chance to win prizes to the value of over R40 000.

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

TV schedule Plan your couch time with our searchable sport TV guide

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.