Pádraig Harrington says Rory McIlroy must go back to basics and regain the self-belief that brought him four Majors in just three years.
Ahead of this week’s Slync.io Dubai Desert Classic, which starts today, Harrington believes McIlroy will win more Majors, but he must regain his bullet-proof self-belief.
“When he was winning, he absolutely stood on the tee and didn’t care about anybody else,” Harrington said. “He knew if he played his game, he was going to win. Obviously, the field has caught up. There are plenty of other big guys out there – big hitters, good drivers of the ball. The depth is stronger now.
“It’s not as easy for him to win because there’s other good players, but I’d suggest, to bring the best out of him, he’s just got to be comfortable with who he is and what he’s doing.”
The Dubliner added: “I know myself when I was winning my Majors, it was just a process of: ‘I know I’m going to win them, maybe not this week but I’m going to be there or thereabouts in X amount of Majors. If I play well in three out of four Majors, I’ll be in contention in two, and over two years, I should surely win one’, and all of a sudden I win three.
“I was so comfortable that it was my time. Rory was very much like that. You look at his performances back in the day, nobody could stay with him on the golf course.
“Yes, players can stay with him on the golf course now, but he has to believe, he has to get back to that state of, ‘I’m doing my thing and if I keep doing it over and over, I might not win this week, but I’m going to win plenty of them’.”
McIlroy remains convinced he will win more Majors, and he will have a chance to build some confidence for the Masters as he chases his third win in the Slync.io Dubai Desert Classic this week.
The Co Down man did not enjoy last week’s windy test in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship and a return to the Emirates Golf Club, where he recorded his maiden professional win in 2009 and won again in 2015, is the perfect antidote.
He’s joined in a Wednesday start at a revamped venue for the $8 million Rolex Series event by Harrington, Shane Lowry and Jonathan Caldwell, as well as Open champion Collin Morikawa and world number five Viktor Hovland.
New world number 47 Séamus Power is skipping this week’s Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines, where Patrick Reed defends and world number one Rahm seeks his third win at the venue where he captured the US Open last June.