/ Golf

Rory McIlroy: I want to be the best in the world

Updated: Tuesday, 22 Jul 2014 15:40 | Comments

Rory McIlroy has now won three of the four majors and will target a career Grand Slam at the Augusta Masters next year
Rory McIlroy has now won three of the four majors and will target a career Grand Slam at the Augusta Masters next year

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The Open winner Rory McIlroy has told RTÉ that he feels his form in winning a third major proves his worth on the golf course and that he can potentially be the best player in the world.

In the wake of his Open Championship victory at Royal Liverpool, he told RTÉ: “I’ve proven to myself and to people that I can win Majors and hopefully be the best in this game.

"And when I say I want to be the best that I can, that will hopefully mean that I’m the best player in the world."

McIlroy also highlighted that majors were on his mind now, and racking up as many as possible, as well as targeting a career Grand Slam, with victory in the Masters to add to his US Open, The Open and PGA Championship titles.

“Augusta will be big next year because it’s the only one I haven’t won, but obviously there’s another major coming along in a few weeks’ time: the PGA at Valhalla," said McIlroy.

“I’m obviously in great form and want to get as many majors as possible."

The Holywood man also revealed that the recent victory had begun to sink in and that the enviable position he now holds in his career is something he himself finds hard to fathom.

He said: “Has it sunk in? Yes, it has. The last few mornings waking up and seeing the Claret Jug - it hits you.

“It’s been a crazy week, but to be sitting at 25-years-old with three of the majors won, and having a chance at the Slam at Augusta next year, I never thought I would be at this point in my career so soon."

As to last weekend's victory at Royal Liverpool, McIroy attributed a large portion of the success to everything finally clicking for him.

“I’m playing well. I feel good and my game has felt in great shape all year but last week was the first week where I was able to put it all together. If I can do that more often, then hopefully more of these things will come,” he said.

The Holywood man did admit that having his lead cut drastically on the final day had shot his nerves, but he was happy that he managed to keep a calm exterior throughout.

“When you have a six-shot lead, and all of a sudden it’s down to two with a few holes to go, you’re not as comfortable as you were at the start," he said.

“There were guys that were making a run at me. Sergio [Garcia] was playing very well.

“Ricky [Fowler], who was playing alongside me, didn’t make a bogey all day.

“There was times when I was churning. But I’m glad people thought I kept a composed and calm exterior because that is not how I was feeling at all times."

Rory McIlroy wins the Open

In terms of his mental state, McIlroy admitted that he had come through a turbulent 18 months in his life, including splitting up with fiancée Caroline Wozniacki, as well as a legal case against former management Horizon, and that the tough experiences he has had have served to make him stronger for the future.

He said: “It’s been a big 18 months in my life, with an equipment change, things in my personal life, a management change.

"The one constant that’s always been there has been my golf.

"That’s what I just went back to, and that’s my main focus and what’s really important to me.

“There’s only a limited amount of time you have a career at the top level and I want to try to make the most of it.

"It’s definitely been a learning process these last 18 months and I’m definitely more mature - not as naive.

"I’ve learnt a lot of lessons in that time and it’s made me a stronger person.”

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