Rory McIlroy on Zurich Classic: Playing pressure-free. Nothing needs fixing

McIlroy acknowledges the importance of this week in terms of FedExCup points

by Sead Dedovic
Rory McIlroy on Zurich Classic: Playing pressure-free. Nothing needs fixing
© Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images Sport

Rory McIlroy expects the best from himself on Friday when he steps onto the golf course to play at the Zurich Classic. His partner will be Shane Lowry. Despite being in poor form, this tournament will be an opportunity for him to turn things around and potentially change things in his favor. Before the start of the Masters, Rory McIlroy talked about the shortcomings in his game that he needs to work on. 

It's the Masters that is missing from his CV, and he has been working hard on various aspects of his game. However, Rory hasn't been particularly successful at either the Masters or the RBC Heritage. In a media interview before the start of the Zurich Classic, Rory McIlroy now emphasized that there isn't any aspect of his game that needs improvement. For him, the primary focus is on the mental aspect of the game, calmly entering yet another tournament.

“I don’t think there’s things that need to be fixed, but I think a week like this to sort of relax and play under maybe not the amount of pressure or the stress that we’ve both been under the last couple of weeks I think is a nice thing. And it’s nice to be able to rely on a teammate every now and again and bail you out of trouble or know that you don’t have to play perfect golf because you’ve got someone right there beside you."- Rory McIlroy said, as quoted by Irish Golfer!

McIlroy acknowledges the importance of this week in terms of FedExCup points and recognizes that a strong performance could greatly improve his and Lowry's positions in the standings, setting them up well for the rest of the season.

Rory McIlroy will have his first start in a team event. The Northern Irishman has mentioned that over the years, he has received many invitations for team events but has politely declined them. It seems that McIlroy isn't particularly enthusiastic about team events.

“Yeah, a few people have asked me over the years. Bubba Watson hounded me for years to come play this with him and I politely declined every time, not because I don’t like him."- he said.

McIlroy explained that in previous instances, the timing of the team event didn't align with his schedule. However, considering that he's currently in his fourth consecutive week of competition, he sees participating in a more relaxed event as a welcome change of pace with less pressure, offering a positive experience.

It will be interesting to see McIlroy perform under such conditions, which could help determine whether pressure is the primary factor contributing to his struggles week after week, or if he needs to work extensively on his game. Rory hopes for a positive experience from this tournament, with the aspiration of improving his form and achieving success.

Shane Lowry on Rory McIlroy

Shane Lowry and Rory McIlroy are good friends and have known each other for a long time. They have had the opportunity to play together, so there are high expectations for this duo. Lowry intends to achieve great things with Rory.

Shane Lowry
Shane Lowry© Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images Sport

Lowry expressed that Rory is likely at the top of everyone's list to partner with in such events. He feels honored that Rory considers him capable of being a teammate and competing together. Although McIlroy, as we've mentioned numerous times before, is not in good form, we have no doubt that there will come a moment when he will raise his game. Lowry is aware of the excellent chemistry between the two of them, which can be a huge advantage at this event.

Lowry stresses that they complement each other well on the course and will enjoy the experience, which is crucial. While they both value enjoyment during competition, they are also highly competitive individuals. When they step onto the first tee on Thursday, their focus will be on giving themselves the best chance to win the tournament.

The Zurich Classic of New Orleans is a golf tournament that has been played on the PGA Tour since 1938. Although some may underestimate this competition due to its unique format compared to most events, golfers participating in this tournament consider it a great opportunity to earn FedExCup points, which are important for their future. 

Additionally, the financial reward is attractive and serves as one of the motivations for victory. The Zurich Classic became a team event seven years ago. The winner of this competition earns 400 FedEx Cup points and a two-year exemption. Last year's winners of this tournament were Nick Hardy and Davis Riley, two Americans who received a prize of $1.2 million each.

Rory Mcilroy