Rory McIlroy: Northern Irish golfer says he is a victim of his own success

Rory McIlroy
Rory McIlroy won his second FedEx Cup title in August

Rory McIlroy says he would not feel "a tinge of disappointment" about his season if he was any other golfer.

The Northern Irishman won four titles in 2019, but failed to make the cut at his home Open Championship at Royal Portrush or sustain a challenge at any of the other majors.

"I'm almost a little bit of a victim of my own success," said the 30-year-old.

"What I was able to do early in my career, by winning four majors by the age of 25, that's not really the norm."

He added: "If I was any other golfer who did what I did this year, then I don't think there would be that tinge of disappointment.

"I feel like I am still young in terms of being a golfer and I have a good 10 or 15 years ahead of me, but it is tough to sit through interviews and feel like you have had a great year but still there's always a 'but'."

Rory McIlroy
McIlroy missed the cut at his home Open despite a late charge at Royal Portrush

The season past marked five years since McIlroy last won a major title, but he still believes he has had a strong campaign and has improved as a player.

The world number two won the Players Championship, Canadian Open, FedEx Cup and WGC-HSBC Champions and was the PGA Tour's Player of the Year.

"I've been playing some of my best golf and I've been more consistent too. The four wins in there were fantastic," he added.

"If someone had of said to me on 1 January 2019 that I was going to have this kind of year, I probably would have taken it.

"I feel that every aspect of my game got better this year, and if I can continue to improve on those little things then there is no reason why I can't have success.

"I've had a good year, and I'm happy with where my golf and my life is, and I think that sets me up to have an even better year next year."

'I want to be world number one'

McIlroy's rivalry with America's world number one Brooks Koepka was highlighted last year as the Holywood native surged from eighth to second in the world rankings.

Koepka, a four-time major winner, has held the number one ranking since 2018 but McIlroy says he is determined to regain the top spot no matter who is leading the way.

"It's on the radar and definitely a goal of mine next year," admitted McIlroy.

"I want to get to world number one, it doesn't matter to me who is occupying it.

"I started the year eighth in the world and made it up to number two, and at the start of next year I'm sure I will have a chance to get there."

Rory McIlroy and Brooks Koepka
McIlroy was named the PGA Tour's Player of the Year despite Brooks Koepka holding the top spot in the world rankings

McIlroy admits that it bugs him that he hasn't won a major since doing a PGA Championship and Open Championship double in 2014, but says he knows that he has the quality to add to his tally.

"There are other things that are important to me other than major championships, and there are a lot of things in golf that I play for which aren't those four weeks a year," he said.

"You only have a limited amount of opportunities a year and sometimes it just doesn't go your way.

"I'm playing good enough golf at tournaments at other times of the year against some of the best players in the world, so there is no reason why I can't do it during those four weeks as well.

"The competition is always going to be there and there are always going to be new people coming through.

"But if I can use all my experience and learn from all the opportunities that I've had in the past 10 years, then I'd be very disappointed if my next 10 years weren't even better."

Top Stories

Also in NI Sport