Rory McIlroy: "I know I play very good golf"

"It's really cool ! It's funny because I really never thought about it during that last lap. It was a difficult day. More than we think"

by Andrea Gussoni
Rory McIlroy: "I know I play very good golf"
© Vivien Killilea / Getty Images Sport

The year 2024 is starting with a bang for Rory McIlroy. Second at the Dubai Invitational, winner at the Hero Dubai Desert Classic, the Northern Irishman is ideally launching his season. It remains to be seen whether he can maintain this pace during the Majors.

He has not won a Grand Slam since August 2014.

Rory McIlroy, statements

"It's really cool ! It's funny because I really never thought about it during that last lap. It was a difficult day. More than we think. The tipping point was undoubtedly these two birdies at 8 and 9.

This then allowed me to stay in control until the end. So yes, I made a mistake on the 13th but I always had the impression of managing things well on the last holes. There were no big sparks today but the course is so difficult.

I held on as best I could and fortunately, somehow, no one else had a big day. Given the difficulty of the course, I thought two cards of 67 (-5) might be enough. So yes, this 63 (-9) Saturday allowed me to reposition myself ideally.

Friday evening, after two rounds, I thought that by playing -10 on the weekend, I would have my chances. Finally, I played -11 and I won with a one-shot lead. I've been playing golf for quite some time now and I know what can happen in this sport.

I released the right golf at the right time. It's simply incredible to achieve my fourth victory here at Emirates Golf Club. We just had to keep the ship afloat. I knew that by making par from 14 to 16, I wasn't going to lose much ground.

I also knew that I still had two chances on the last two holes. In the end, I didn't need to make a birdie on any of them. My plan for this end of the game was to secure the pars and try my luck at 17 and 18. It’s an excellent start to the season.

I also started well last year by winning here… Look, I know I play good golf. Even if there are still sometimes a few errors on my throws. It cost me the victory at 18 last week... There are still a few things to work on, a few points to settle but these weeks are great.

And whatever happens, you learn a lot". Rory uses an interlock grip for all of his shots. He has worked from a young age with various professional golfers including Darren Clarke, Nick Faldo, and Graeme McDowell. The latter often does field tests with Rory on tour.

Rory's putting master was Dave Stockton, a former PGA Tour player who serves as a putting master. Initially he was taught by Englishman Andrew "Chubby" Chandler, a European Tour player who founded International Sports Management (ISM).

McIlroy left ISM in 2011, joining Dublin-based Horizon Sports Management. Michael Bannon has been working with Rory since October 2012.

Rory Mcilroy