Rory McIlroy insists he is the best player in the world, but he hasn’t played like this in 18 months | Golf news
Posted On October 14, 2021
Rory McIlroy looks defiant as he reiterates his desire to return to the top of the world rankings, while he also insists that there is little that Padraig Harrington could have done to avoid Europe’s defeat at the Ryder Cup.
By Keith Jackson
Last update: 10/13/21 8:21 PM
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Rory McIlroy reflects on his emotional post-game interviews after his Ryder Cup singles match and what it made him realize about himself as a golfer
Rory McIlroy reflects on his emotional post-match interviews after his Ryder Cup singles match and what it made him realize about himself as a golfer
The world rankings currently place Rory McIlroy in 14th place, but he maintains he is “the best player in the world” when he reaches his peak.
McIlroy was ranked world No.1 when the Covid-19 pandemic hit global sport in March 2020, since then he has been hampered by inconsistency and a faltering swing that saw him drop in the rankings to his lowest point for 12 years.
Much of the cause of his fall has been attributed to his much-publicized pursuit for speed and length after seeing Bryson DeChambeau defeat Winged Foot at the US Open last year, and McIlroy’s partnership with the new swing trainer Pete Cowen saw rapid success at the Wells Fargo Championship in May.
However, the four-time major champion has only recorded three Top 10 finishes since winning his third title at Quail Hollow, but he sounded a note of defiance and optimism ahead of this week’s CJ Cup at Shadow Creek in Las Vegas.
“I think when I play my best I’m the best player in the world,” said McIlroy, who plans to play in the DP World Tour Championship and Hero World Challenge before going on a winter break.
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“I haven’t played like this in a while, though, but I don’t feel like I have to go back this far every time the pandemic hit, when I was the No. 1 player in the world. I don’t have to look that far back to see my name at the top of the leaderboard.
“Obviously the last 18 months haven’t been what I wanted them to be, but if you keep it in perspective I’m not that far away. And now there are a ton of great players out there. obviously play golf really, really well.
“I feel like the talent pool is getting deeper and deeper every year, so you have to strive to keep trying to improve yourself to stay where you want to stay.
“It’s not the position I want to be in, but at the same time there are so many other guys trying to do the same as me and I realize that the competition is getting harder every year. I have to try not to just follow this, but to try to become better. ”
McIlroy makes his first start since his emotions ran wild after his Ryder Cup singles victory over Xander Sc Chaudele, and he took up the defense of Padraig Harrington and insisted the European captain couldn’t have made it. much to keep the US team from reaching a 19-9 record. victory.
“From the whole process and obviously being involved and in the squad room, Padraig couldn’t have done much more,” added McIlroy, who lost all three of his games on Friday and Saturday and was dropped for one session. for the first time in his Ryder Cup career.
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“I said at the start, even before the week, the captains, they set the tone and they maybe create a bit of culture that week, but at the end of the day it’s us, this are the players hitting the shots and trying to break through the putts, and Europe either didn’t hit the shots or didn’t break the putts.
“When you think about it America just put in so many more putts than us and got some momentum early on. They started games so fast and they had the crowd on their side, they are building momentum. and when you are on the outside and you are trying to fight it, it is very difficult.
“I certainly couldn’t sit here and criticize anything of what Padraig did. It was up to the players to play better golf and putts and we didn’t.”