home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


January 22, 2011

Rory McIlroy


RODDY WILLIAMS: Okay, Rory, thanks very much for coming in and joining us. Terrific round, terrific finish and it's going to be an exciting day tomorrow.
RORY McILROY: Yeah, it will be. You know, Martin Kaymer is very, very good on this golf course. And yeah, I mean, he's always good when leading from the front, as well, so I'm going to have a difficult time to try and catch him.
But you know, I've played great all week. I didn't hole many putts on Thursday, and then held a few more on Friday and today.
But yeah, it's been great. I mean, no matter what happens tomorrow, it's been a successful week, because first week out, you know, trying to work on a few things and to hit some -- all I'm trying to concentrate on is hitting good shots on the course and making good swings at it. If I can do that, the goal that I set myself at the start of the week has been achieved.
So, yeah, so as long as I go out and give it 100 per cent tomorrow, I'll be happy.
RODDY WILLIAMS: Talk us through those last two holes, that birdie eagle finish and the importance of that finish in terms of closing the gap on Martin, as well.
RORY McILROY: You know, I hit a great drive on 17. I only had a little wedge in there, so set myself up nicely for that one. And the 18th, you know, it was the first time this week that I had hit the fairway so I gave myself an opportunity to go for the green. I was happy with that. I was happy with the way I drove it today. I drove it really, really well and that's a huge positive for me going into the rest of the season.
Yeah, very happy. Great finish and sets me up nicely, nice to get into the last group again, as well. I was in the last group last year. I'll be in the last group again with Martin which will be nice.

Q. You mentioned that you had made more putts yesterday and today than you had on Thursday, but looking at you out there on the TV pictures, you had maybe three or four that you could have made.
RORY McILROY: Yeah, three or four that you could have made but then I had a 40-footer on 10 that goes in, 30-footer on the last. So it swings around a bit. You make up for it in other areas of the game. I could have held them but that's golf. Could you come off every day and say you could have been three or four better. But I'll take 65 out there any day.

Q. But all things considered, the putter served you well today?

Q. Dare we say Martin is unbeatable with a three-shot lead around here?
RORY McILROY: I wouldn't say he's unbeatable, but he'll be very tough to beat. He seems so solid out there. I don't think he's made a bogey today. I was looking at the card and depends how he finishes the last couple of holes. You know, he's very comfortable with the lead and he's shown that over the past couple of years. You know, I'll have to go out and play very similar to the way I did today if I want to have any sort of a chance. But you know, as I said, I've already sort of achieved the goal that I set myself at the start of the week, and it's just a bonus to get into this position.

Q. I wonder if you can talk to Martin's best qualities as a golfer. What do you think are his best qualities?
RORY McILROY: I think his attitude. We've all had a few weeks off, and I was talking to Martin at the start of the week and was like what, did you get up to over Christmas and here, and he says, was just in Arizona, took a couple of weeks off, and didn't touch a club for two weeks and then I felt a little guilty so I had to come back out and hit some. I said, "I haven't touched a club for six weeks. I don't feel guilty at all." (Laughter).
He's a very hard worker, great attitude. He's just a very, very solid golfer. He's going to get to No. 2 in the world this week, next week, and deservedly so, because he's playing some great golf.

Q. With you and Martin out in that final group tomorrow, dress rehearsal for hopefully some Majors?
RORY McILROY: Yeah, definitely. Hopefully. He's already won one and won a few times on The European Tour. I'm just trying to get a few more wins under my belt. Yeah, what he's done the last couple of years has been phenomenal and hopefully, yeah, even this year, a couple of years down the line, battle is out for a couple, a few Majors.

Q. You were in a similar position last year and then the last round did not go as you would have wanted it to.
RORY McILROY: I shot 67. (Laughter) Didn't go that badly.

Q. But when you're in a position like this and something happens last year and you're in a similar position, do you think back and learn something from that?
RORY McILROY: I didn't start off very well last year. I think I came home in 4-under and went out in 1-under.
But you know, that day, it was Poulter, Kaymer and myself, and they started off very, very well. I sort of hung onto them for a bit and I made a few birdies on the back nine. I think I was only one shot behind going up the last.
You know, it can be done out here. But you know, to say I didn't really learn that much, I just went out and tried to play some good golf and I was able to do that. To shoot 67 in the last round of a big tournament like this, it's a pretty good effort. Just unfortunately the guys who played with me shot 66.

Q. Are you surprised to be in this position given that you have had six weeks off?
RORY McILROY: Yes, definitely. If you would have seen me hitting balls in Dubai last week, you wouldn't have said I'd make the cut.
I've made a lot of progress the last couple of weeks. I'm very, very happy with that, and I still -- there's still things to work on. But as I said, I've achieved the goals that I've set myself this week, and it's a bonus to be in this position. And if I can go out tomorrow and keep in the same mind-set and not care about how many I'm behind, or what I need to shoot, just go out and hit some good shots and I'll be happy with that.

Q. Your Dubai Desert Classic win was a ground breaking one and magnificent achievement for such a young age. If you had to win here, would that surpass the Desert Classic, and if so, why?
RORY McILROY: I think so, yeah. I think because of the field. We've got the four major champions of last year, the world No. 1. And it's been a long -- it feels like a long time; it's nearly two years since I won the Classic. I know I won last year in America, but it would be nice to win another event on The European Tour.
But you know, the way my game is going, if it doesn't happen this week, it will happen soon enough because it definitely feels like it's on the right track.

Q. Last year, it was the end of the year, you were making some swing changes when you went to Egypt and just before that, and then you just said that you didn't feel guilty about touching the clubs for six weeks. Were you happy with the way your swing was towards the end of the year just before you took the break?
RORY McILROY: No, not at all. I wasn't swinging it very well the last four or five -- to be honest, I wasn't swinging it well at The Ryder Cup either, but I was able to sort of get it around.
And it stemmed from playing in the wind at Whistling Straits. That's really where the swing flaw came from and I've been struggling with it the last few months of the year. Just put the clubs away for a while, forget about it for a bit, and then come back a little bit refreshed, really wanting to work hard. I put the hours in last week in Dubai and also this week, as well. You know, it seemed to pay off. I'm not saying that it's exactly where I want it to be swing-wise but it's definitely getting there.

Q. Just back to Martin briefly, going to No. 2, if he gets -- if or when he gets to No. 1, is he the sort of guy that will stay there and be tough to shift?
RORY McILROY: Yeah, it's hard to answer. Everyone was asking the same questions about Lee whenever he got to No. 1; how long will he stay there.
Lee rarely finishes outside the Top-10 of a golf tournament, so it's going to be hard to surpass Lee.
Martin wins a lot. He wins an awful lot. Might not have as many Top-10s, but he wins a lot. I'm sure he'll probably get to No. 1 at some stage in his career. It's just a matter of line, hopefully like the rest of us.

Q. I'm sure you're encouraged by today, but you said you had six weeks off, you had swine flu, I understand, lost a stone, change in your domestic circumstances, you're a single boy now. What can we expect from you this year? What do you expect from yourself sort of having six weeks off and made the change? What do you expect of yourself this year?
RORY McILROY: I expect a lot. One goal, really the one goal that I set myself this year was just to work hard. And if I can do that and I can stay true to that throughout the rest of the year, I'll be very happy. Because there were certain points last year where I didn't feel as I gave it 100 per cent, and as a professional sportsman, you can't do that. So just give it my all, give 100 per cent, and that's basically it. Have to work harder.

Q. What is the swing flaw you were correcting?
RORY McILROY: I just wasn't getting it on plane on the way back to I was struggling to get it on plane on the way down. I was just taking it a little low and a little inside. I don't want to get into too much detail but got a little low inside and the only place your arms can go is up and it was coming down on top of the plane, and everything was starting left.
I could play with it. I played well China, Hong Kong, Dubai just hitting a cut. That's all I was doing. Kept it in play. Couldn't hit the other shot. And to be a world-class golfer, you need to be able to shoot the ball both ways.

Q. You mentioned The Ryder Cup. Is there any legacy from The Ryder Cup? Do you think you toughened up or has it made any difference to your mental attitude?
RORY McILROY: Not really. I don't think so. I mean, I think the two things that I took from The Ryder Cup was now I have a bigger appreciation for The Ryder Cup and what it is, and it brought me closer to some of the guys on the team. That was basically it.
I mean, as was mentioned before, I had a dose of swine flu over Christmas, and watched the whole thing through. You don't really realise what other players do when you're part of the team because you're out on the course and you don't see it, but I watched The Ryder Cup, the whole way through, and to see the likes of Donald hole so many putts and Poulter. I didn't see Poulter's interview on the final day until Christmas where he said, "I will deliver a point." Stuff like that.
Yeah it brought me closer to a lot of the guys on this tour and gave me a bigger appreciation for the tournament itself. But individually, I was just very happy to be a part of the team and help in some way. If that made me a stronger and a tougher person, then it's obviously great.
But you know, honestly, the putt that I held on the last green there, I didn't feel that nervous over it because I thought the boys behind me were going to be okay. And then I realised that it was a pretty big putt in the end.

Q. You said at some stages last year you weren't giving 100 per cent. When was that and what were the reasons?
RORY McILROY: I don't think there was particular points. You know, any tournament where you're seeing off on a Sunday morning at half nine and you don't really have a chance to win. Sometimes, you know, I find it hard to get motivated. So you set a goal every day and try and achieve that.
An example would probably be Wentworth, teed off at ten o'clock in the morning on Sunday, played, got out of there, didn't really give it my all. And that's something I really want to change this year.

End of FastScripts

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297