Interview: Rory McIlroy
Rory McIlroy meets with the media and talks about the importance of the schedule leading up to the FedExCup Playoffs.
It seems like ages ago since Rory McIlroy was embroiled in a playoff at the Wells Fargo Championship, fighting to win at Quail Hollow for the second time in three years.
In reality, it’s been less than three months. But very little has gone right for the player who appeared to have a vice grip on the No. 1 spots in both the FedExCup standings and the Official World Golf Ranking.
McIlroy’s return to THE PLAYERS Championship lasted all of two days, and his much-hyped defense at the U.S. Open met the same fate. He fired up Royal Lytham crowds with a 67 on Day 1 of the British Open, but he fizzled on the weekend.
So what is wrong?
"My game just sort of went off for a few weeks," said McIlroy, who spoke Tuesday at the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational. "I’ve been hitting the ball great on the range, it’s just about trying to bring that from the range onto the golf course and trying to separate the two, trying not to think so technical on the golf course when I’ve been working on stuff on the range."
The frustration has mounted lately for McIlroy, but the Northern Irishman seemed ready to get back to the United States for the critical two-month stretch that includes the PGA Championship and the FedExCup Playoffs.
"After you play the PGA, I suppose the majors are over for the year, and you’ve got to really try and set yourself another goal," McIlroy said. "And for me that other goal is to try and finish as high in the FedExCup as possible, try and go into the TOUR Championship in the top five and give myself a chance to win [the FedExCup]."
With 550 FedExCup points on the line this week at Firestone South, McIlroy, who sits ninth, can move as high as third with a win. McIlroy is also banking on next week at Kiawah Island, which offers 600 points to the winner.
McIlroy has only played in the FedExCup Playoffs once (in 2010). He failed to make it past the BMW Championship, falling just short of his bid to make the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola.
McIlroy, who has never won a World Golf Championship event, knows Firestone South sets up perfectly for him. He’s finished in the top 10 in each of the last two years at the tree-lined course, and the track has quickly become one of his favorite in the world.
"I think it’s one of the best events we play all year and definitely one of the best courses," McIlroy said. "It would be nice to play well here this week and go into the PGA with a good finish behind me."