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Wednesday, 19 May 2010
Rory McIlroy  (Getty Images)
Rory McIlroy (Getty Images)
Rory McIlroy is eager to make his return to European Tour action a successful one at this week's BMW PGA Championship after his heroics in America.

The 21 year old Northern Irishman landed a first US PGA Tour victory in sensational style at the Quail Hollow Championship three weeks ago, and is now keen to add to his only previous European Tour success - last season's Dubai Desert Classic - when he tackles the redesigned Wentworth Club course.

His victorious display in North Carolina, where he produced a final round 62 to go from four behind with a round to play to four stroke winner, certainly suggests McIlroy will be among the contenders in Surrey come Sunday evening.

"Quail Hollow was fantastic," admitted the World Number Nine.

"I'm really excited about getting back to play in Europe. I haven't played in the UK since the Alfred Dunhill back in October, so I'm excited to get back.

"It's great to be playing over in America, but it's always nice to get back over to Europe and see everyone and come back to familiar surroundings. I'm really looking forward to the week - it's a great field, five of the top ten in the world, a lot of World Ranking points to play for.

"It's a very important event. I have really good memories from last year finishing fifth and I'd like to go a little bit better year."

McIlroy's dazzling display in Charlotte did not go unnoticed by some of the games greats, either.

If The Ryder Cup hopeful was in any doubt about just how impressive his round was - he left Major Champions Phil Mickelson and Angel Cabrera trailing in his wake - then some recent mail will have no doubt reinforced the magnitude of his achievements.

"The reception that I got when I came back home, the excitement of everyone, it was pretty cool," added McIlroy. "It sort of made me realise what I had done over there. It was great to win over there, but it would be nice to win again in Europe pretty soon.

"I got two pieces of mail last Thursday, one was from Jack Nicklaus and one was from Arnold Palmer. That was nice.

"There's been a lot of congratulations and a lot of letters which I really appreciate and that made me realise how special that win in Quail Hollow was.

"We [McIlroy and Nicklaus] had lunch earlier on in the year at West Palm Beach, and he told me to be patient and he said, ‘I told you to be patient but that was just outrageous'.

"It was great. He said ‘I look forward to seeing you at the Memorial'.

"I got a really nice letter from Seve [Ballesteros], as well, which was great. So there was a lot of nice letters.

"They are in the process of being framed with the 18th flag. It's fantastic, to be able to spend time with men of their stature, and between them they have got 26, 27 Major Championships or something - so they know what they are doing.

"I really appreciate that they take an interest in my career, and hopefully I can keep playing good golf and try and live up to the potential and the expectations.

"Seve, he came from a very European perspective. He said ‘It's great what you've done, especially to win over in America so early'. Seve did it over there as well.

"He talked a little bit about The Ryder Cup and about The European Tour and about how proud he was of all of the young players coming through. It was a very, very touching letter, because that was the first one I actually had received.

"It's incredible. He's been going through a very difficult time at the minute, and hopefully we can see him at St Andrews at The Open this year. I know everyone wishes him a speedy recovery and we all hope he pulls through.

"For him to take the time out of his life to write me a nice letter like that was fantastic."

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Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1KHAN, SimonENG18-6
T2ANDERSSON HED, FredrikSWE18-5
T2DONALD, LukeENG18-5
4GALLACHER, StephenSCO18-4
5WILLETT, DannyENG18-3
T6LAWRIE, PaulSCO18-2
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