Wednesday, 31 August 2011
Rory McIlroy   (Getty Images)
Rory McIlroy (Getty Images)
Rory McIlroy insists he is ready to compete at the Omega European Masters after the wrist injury which derailed his US PGA Championship bid.

McIlroy was injured attempting to hit a shot from behind a tree root on the third hole at Atlanta Athletic Club, and was clearly in pain for the remainder of the tournament – finishing 64th.

But the Northern Irishman feels ready to challenge at Crans-sur-Sierre, where he narrowly missed out on his first European Tour title back in 2008.

“I’m feeling good,” he said. “I had two weeks of rest. I hit balls three times last week in the United States which was fine. I felt it after about 45 minutes of hitting balls and got a bit of treatment on my wrist. 

“I practised for an hour and played nine holes yesterday. It's fine, I’m going to get a little bit of treatment for about 15 to 20 minutes later and do some more practice. It feels like it is nearly a 100 per cent.

“I still think about the play-off in 2008. It was a good chance to get my first victory. This is one of my favourite tournaments and I really want to win this event at some stage. It will be great if I’ll be able to do it this week. I’ve been working hard and trying to get my game in good shape. Hopefully I can have a good week.”

McIlroy has recently started dating World Number One tennis player Caroline Wozniacki, and believes the pair can help each other with their career goals.

“She is number one in the world and I have got a Major,” he added. “We both sort of have what each other wants. We definitely complement each other. It is very healthy.

“It is a big goal of mine. I want to be the best player in the world and it is something I want to work towards.

“A few things change when you win a Major Championship. Your profile goes up a couple of levels. People are interested and want to know how you live your life. But it is fine. I’m happy to be in the position that I’m in and the good news for me now is that I can focus on golf and try and win a few tournaments at the end of the year.

“My goal after the third hole of that week  (the US PGA Championship) was to finish the tournament. I thought I did well to make the cut and the last two days were disappointing because I felt that I couldn’t play my best golf. It was a disappointing way to end but it has been a great year, having won one Major and did well at the Masters. It is definitely right step going into next year.

“I’ve always had high expectations of myself. I don’t expect myself to play like how I did at the US Open every week. It will be very difficult to do that. But I feel I’m capable of playing that golf. It is just a matter of practising hard and trying to produce that kind of golf more often.”

Also looking forward to competing in the glorious mountain scenery is McIlroy’s Open Champion compatriot Darren Clarke.

“It is one of the nicest places we play on Tour,” he said. “I’ve played well here before and it is a beautiful place. I enjoy coming back here every year and this is no exception. It is wonderful. My fiancé is with me and we have a fantastic hotel. The whole place is just beautiful.” 

“I had no time off after The Open – I was straight down to Ireland and two weeks in America and I was absolutely done. I had a really good two weeks off. The first week I went up to a place in Donegal and went fishing for five days with Alison and had a great time then back to Portrush last week and I was working away last week. 

“Those two weeks off were exactly what I needed and I’m back ready to play again. I’ve a lot of tournaments between now and the end of the year. This one is nearly always on my schedule because I enjoy it so much. I’m busy for the foreseeable future.”

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