Dublin - Rory McIlroy's frustrating season
boiled over on the eve of the Irish Open in criticising what he describes as
the "negative spin" that's been put on his recent performances.
The four-time Major winner is hosting the
event at the K. Club and the first time the course, located just south of
Dublin, has played host to a major tournament since staging the 2006 Ryder Cup.
Back then McIlroy was just 18 years of age
and he had taken a three-hour bus ride leaving Belfast at 5.30am to witness the
final round on Sunday.
In contrast, he returns to the course with
his photograph appearing everywhere from Dublin Airport and all along the route
to the course while his photograph is also on the official programme, draw
sheets, entry tickets and car passes.
However, it's now been more than six months
since McIlroy last tasted success and that was in November's European Tour
season-ending DP World Tour Championship.
In that time, McIlroy has had six top-10
finishes including the latest in sharing fourth place a fortnight ago in the
defence of his Wells Fargo Championship.
But after an indifferent Players
Championship effort last week, that included see-saw rounds of 72, 64, 75 and
70, the current world number three is not too pleased what he's been reading.
"I'm relaxed about it but it also
frustrates me, I guess the negative spin that's put on my form," said
"I know expectations for myself are
higher than other players, but you look at my record this year with a third in
Abu Dhabi, a fifth in Dubai, a third at Doral, fourth in the Match Play so my
bad weeks are Top-10s, basically.
"So it just frustrates me that the
narrative is about there's something missing in Rory's game or what's wrong
with Rory or where I don't feel like there's anything wrong.
"It's very close and it's just that
I'm waiting for something to happen. I might need to make something happen, but
it's not as far away as I feel some people think it is.
"I feel very comfortable with where my
game is at, and I know that if I go out and I play my best or close to my best,
that I'm going to have a great chance to win this week, next week, basically
all season, because I'm in a really good place with where my game is.
"It just hasn't happened yet, and I'm
trying to stay as patient as possible."
McIlroy will tee-up as host of the Irish
Open at 14:35 on Thursday in the company of defending champion Soren Kjeldsen
of Denmark and England's Andy Sullivan.