Monday 19 August 2019

‘I’ve plenty of time left to win Majors,’ insists McIlroy

Rory McIlroy tees off at the 18th hole at Carnoustie during yesterday’s practice round. The Northern Irishman gets his British Open challenge underway at 12.53 this afternoon. Photo: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images
Rory McIlroy tees off at the 18th hole at Carnoustie during yesterday’s practice round. The Northern Irishman gets his British Open challenge underway at 12.53 this afternoon. Photo: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

Brian Keogh

Rory McIlroy would love to shut up the doubters and get his Major run back on track in The Open this week.

But while he admits that he’s a victim of his early success after winning four Major championships in four years, he insists he’s not trying to “cement” his legacy with more Major wins even if he hasn’t won one since 2014.

McIlroy said: “At this point I’m not trying to cement anything. Obviously, I’ve had a decent career up until this point, and I’ve got a lot of time left to add to Major tally or just tournaments won or whatever it is.”

“Look, I was on a nice run there from 2011 to 2014. I haven’t won one since, but I’m trying. I’m trying my best every time I tee it up, and it just hasn’t happened. You know, I’ll give it a good go this week.”

The Holywood ace would love nothing better than to head to Royal Portrush next year as defending champion but he admits that high expectations are a burden for him.

“Geez, if it all worked out like that this week, I’d be one very happy man heading out of here,” he said.

While Pádraig Harrington has called on McIlroy’s critics to give him some breathing room, McIlroy knows that the expectation is never going to go away.

He wishes he could turn back the clock to the 2007 Open, when he turned up as an 18-year old amateur and free-wheeled his way to the silver medal as Harrington was winning the Claret Jug.

He said: “I think sometimes the pressure that’s maybe put on the top guys to perform at such a high level every week, that starts to weigh on you a little bit.

“I look back at those pictures (from 2007), and the more I can be like that kid, the better.”

He kept Harrington’s then three-year old son Paddy amused as the playoff was in full swing that year. But if he needed reminding that time stands still for no man, he was shocked to see the once playful toddler striding across the links with his father yesterday.

“He’s massive now,” McIlroy said after spotting 14-year old Paddy loping along.

The expectation on McIlroy’s shoulders is massive too and he knows there’s only one way to make it go away for a while and that’s by winning a second Claret Jug on Sunday.

Irish Independent

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