Rory McIlroy’s revealed a key to hopefully ending his six-year Major victory drought – locking his phone in the bedside drawer and spending time with his wife Erica working on jigsaw puzzles.
This year will mark six years since McIlroy last tasted Major success in winning the back-to-back at the 2014 Open Championship and PGA Championship
Now in returning to World No. 1 ahead of this week’s Genesis Invitational, McIlroy was quizzed how he shuts out ‘information intake’ ahead of teeing-up in the four Majors but also the Players Championship and other big-buck events.
“I always dial back my information content 100% before the big events as I try to lock my mobile phone in the bedside drawer in the weeks of the Majors, and just try to get away from it all,” said McIlroy.
“We (me & Erica) do jigsaw puzzles. I read books and I will do anything I can to just get away from that.”
In this regard, McIlroy says he’s gone to the trouble of downloading the ‘Freedom’ app which claims to be a website blocker costing users $6.99/month, $29/month or $129 for life.
“I downloaded an app a few weeks ago called ‘Freedom’ which is actually a good word as it’s like a content blocker and if you just want to have a week or a month where you see no news, no social media or whatever, you can block all that content on your phone,” he said.
“It’s just like an extra layer of a VPN so that you only see on your phone things like a text message, a call or an email.
“It is something that I’ve started to try and do. I only read one news outlet where I get my news from as I don’t go to so many different outlets because there is just so much information out there.”
McIlroy tees-up this week on the famed Riviera Country Club course as the new World No. 1 and he’s needed no reminding of this from his fellow PGA Tour players gathered at the suburban LA course.
“Everyone keeps saying to me ‘congratulations’ but I’ve said the journey has only started and the goal is staying there which is the hard part,” he said smiling.
“But it’s a calculation based on how you have played over the last two years and I have played well, and consistently well and the maths add up that I am top of the list right now.
“I have a chance now this week to stay there but I have always said It’s a by-product of doing the right things week-in and week-out, playing well, shooting good scores and trying to win tournaments.
“If I can continue to do that, then hopefully that ‘thing’ sort of takes care of itself.”
It is the eighth occasion in his pro career since March, 2012 that McIlroy has reigned atop of the World Rankings but then none of those occasions still tastes better than the very first occasion, with the double delight in capturing the Honda Classic.
“I had that euphoric moment in first going to World No. 1 back in 2012 when I won the Honda Classic to get to No. 1 in the world,” he said.
“Tiger was coming down the stretch and I was able to hold him off and that to me was a really cool moment.
“So, at least I have had one of them and that was nice and to me it doesn’t matter if was sitting at home of the couch to get to No. 1 or whatever.
“It is what it is so I have already had that experience and as long you can savour that experience the first time you get there then that’s all you need.”
For a first time in three years, McIlroy is not grouped with Tiger Woods and Justin Thomas for the opening two rounds of the Euro 8.5m event.
Woods had texted McIlroy out of courtesy both in 2018 and last year if the Ulsterman did not mind being grouped with the now 15-time Major winner.
McIlroy responded he did not mind but jokingly suggested: ‘Like, it’s two shots a tournament he has to give to the field because of all that that goes on around Tiger’.
Instead Woods has sought US Ryder Cup Captain, Steve Stricker to join he and Thomas in the group teeing-off later tonight (THUR) at 7.41pm Irish time.
McIlroy gets underway alongside Patrick Cantlay and Dustin Johnson at 3.16pm.
Scoring can be found HERE