McIlroy: I don't want to burn out by 30

Mark Garrod

RORY McIlroy started only his second tournament in eight weeks today, but says it is all part of his plan to avoid burn-out.

"I don't want to be burned out by the time I'm 30," said the Northern Irishman, who will be celebrating his 23rd birthday tomorrow at the Wells Fargo Championship in Charlotte.

"I want to try and prolong my career as much as I can. I sometimes take a little bit too much out of myself, especially at the end of the season.

"Basically the most important time for me in the golf season is from the start of April until the end of August.

"That's when all the big tournaments are and that's when you want to play your best golf.

"All the stuff either side of that is more preparation work and making sure that your game is getting ready and your body is physically ready for that time of the year.

"I know I've been criticised a little bit for not playing as much as some other guys leading into these few weeks, but I know I've got a big stretch coming up and I want to be as fresh as possible for this."

McIlroy, who like Lee Westwood could return to world number one this weekend, will then move on to Florida for the Players Championship and then a fortnight later bid for the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth.

After that comes the Memorial tournament in Ohio and he then has a week off before his defence of the US Open at the Olympic Club in San Francisco.

The most exciting young talent in golf also has to make time to time to see his girlfriend, former tennis world number one Caroline Wozniacki.

"I'm trying to find the perfect balance between golf and having a normal life and everything else.

"For me there's more to life than just golf. I don't know if people are surprised to hear that, but I have a lot more going on in my life than just golf."