Rory rearing to go in finalé
Bermuda - US Open champion Rory McIlroy said he was ready for this week's end-of-season PGA Grand Slam of Golf in Bermuda despite a dizzying tournament schedule that has taken him around the world this month.
Jet-lagged and tired, the 22-year-old Northern Irishman arrived on the picturesque Atlantic Ocean island on Monday after competing in Scotland, South Korea and China over the last three weeks.
"From Scotland, I flew to Helsinki, Finland, to get a connecting flight to Seoul and then I played in the Korean Open," McIlroy told reporters at Port Royal Golf Course in Southampton ahead of Tuesday's opening round.
"Then I flew from Seoul to Shanghai and started my little adventure around China last week, seven different cities in seven days.
"I might be falling asleep and my head might be in my soup tonight at dinner but I feel OK," smiled the mop-haired Northern Irishman who won the US Open at Congressional Country Club in June by a staggering eight shots.
McIlroy, whose route from China to Bermuda took him via helicopter and plane through Macau, Hong Kong, and Los Angeles, was delighted to be facing only three competitors this week.
"I'm looking forward to the next couple of days," he said of the prestigious, 36-hole strokeplay event which brings together the winners of the year's four majors.
"I only have three guys to beat rather than 155 every (other) week so it should be easier. We'll have a lot of fun."
McIlroy will be competing against compatriot Darren Clarke, who won this year's British Open, South African Charl Schwartzel (Masters) and American Keegan Bradley (PGA Championship) over the next two days.
"You realise it's special, but when you actually get here and it's only the four of you, it feels really special," McIlroy said of the elite field.
The Grand Slam of Golf, billed as "the most exclusive tournament in golf", was held in Hawaii from 1991 to 2006 before moving to Bermuda in 2007.
South African Ernie Els won last year's title as an alternate entry by one shot over American David Toms, another alternate entry.