Rory McIlroy has vowed to again be a major force in world golf after ending his first winless season in nine years..
McIlroy’s frustrating and disappointing year finished near the furthest-most point of the Old Course at St. Andrew with a round of 72 for a disappointing four-under par and a distant share of 63rd place in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.
It left him trailing 20 shots behind back-to-back winning Tyrrell Hatton and it’s the first occasion since 2008 McIlroy has gone throught a season without a victory.
“My last round today of 2017 summed-up all of 2017 with not much happening either good or bad and I was sort of stuck in neutral,” he said.
“Yeah, it hasn’t been the year I wanted on the golf course. I started the year with grand ambitions and trying to add to my Major tally and trying to win golf tournaments, and trying to get back to near the top of the World Rankings.”
“I wasn’t able to do that but I feel like that, even though I haven’t won and the results haven’t been what I wanted, I can still salvage something from the rest of the year even though I am not playing”.
McIlroy now shuts down his season by undergoing a series of tests, including establishing if he is allergic to certain foods, and also allowing the rib injury he sustained some 10 months ago to fully heal. He will then venture to Dubai in late November and hopefully begin his pre-2018 practice schedule.
“I also want to give myself the opportunity now to put a lot of foundations in place going forward and that is what I will concentrate on from now to the end of the year,” he said.
“There are a lot of areas of my game that need sharpening up, like my wedge play and putting as these are two main areas I need to get better at. My iron play is coming on and I saw some good signs last week at Close House and while I didn’t play all that well this week it was nice to feel like I was in the hunt at some stage at the end of my season.”
“But that is a few weeks away as I will not start hitting balls until the end of November, so the next few weeks is about rehab and being in the gym and getting my body right so that I will right to go into that practice and start 2018 strongly”.
McIlroy’s last victory was just over a year ago in capturing the PGA Tour’s Tour Championship and FedEx Cup double. But he failed to qualify for the Atlanta event this year, while he also missed the cut in defence of his Dubai Duty Free Irish Open title and sat out the weekend rounds in defending the Dell Technologies near in Boston.
McIlroy is without a Major Championship title in two years and during that time he’s seen younger rivals such as Jordan Spieth come through with Spieth now level-pegging with him in terms of landing the Grand Slam, while Justin Thomas and Brooks Koepka have also become Major winners.
“I just feel with the experience I have now, I’m definitely a better player than the player that won some of those tournaments and some of those majors,” he said.
“I also feel like I’m a much better player now than I was in 2010 and 2012 when I was able to win a couple of majors.”
“I see no reason why I can’t do better than that in the next ten years and that’s why I feel like these three months are very important for me to put some really good things in place and step away and just reassess everything and reassess where I’m at and where I need to be.”