Rory McIlroy returns to competition this week buoyed by thoughts of a third Boston victory party and eager to help steer Europe to success later next month in Versailles.
McIlroy emerged onto the TPC Boston practice range just after 3pm local time Tuesday in sweltering sauna-like conditions ahead of Friday’s start to the Euro 7.7m final Dell Technologies Championship just to south of Boston.
McIlroy tees-up after skipping last week’s Northern Trust and having dropped seven spots to No. 28 on the FedEx Cup standings with the leading 30 as at September 9th contesting the season-ending Tour Championship.
Since finishing T50th in St. Louis, McIlroy and long-time coach Michael Bannon have worked tirelessly on his game not only with a goal to securing a second Tour victory this year but also to lift European Team spirits heading into the Ryder Cup.
“I did not touch a golf club for four days in the time I’ve had off after the PGA and with Michael staying with us in Florida for about 10 days,” said McIlroy.
“We’ve worked on a number of aspects in my game so that I have returned in a definitely better place than when I left St. Louis. The good thing also is that I’ve come back to a course here in Boston that I know well, having won here in 2012 and also in ‘16 while I finished fifth in ’14, so that familiarity can only help this week.”
McIlroy seems assured of contesting next week’s top-60 BMW Championship just outside Philadelphia and then after a week’s break onto Atlanta. And while McIlroy would dearly to be also the last winner in the last Dell Technologies Championship, he’s also conscious of the bigger event picture starting September 28th in Versailles.
“I’ve got three events in the next four weeks where you want to play well and where you want to be in contention, for sure,” he said.
“Taking last week off was geared for making sure I am ready to not only play these three events but also be at my peak for the Ryder Cup. I spoke twice last week with Thomas (Bjorn) and to sort of see where his head is at regards the Ryder Cup and besides he has bigger things to worry about than where I’m at with my game.”
“I know one thing and it’s that I’ll be ready come Friday September 28th as we desperately want to win back the Ryder Cup.”