Wednesday, 30 November 2011
Rory McIlroy  (Getty Images)
Rory McIlroy (Getty Images)
Despite capturing a maiden Major Championship and rising to number two in the Official World Golf Ranking, Rory McIlroy still believes 2011 could have turned out even better as he looks to finish the season strongly, starting at this week's UBSHong Kong Open.

After missing out on the Masters Tournament in April after a final round of 80, McIlroy bounced back to win the US Open Championship title in spectacular fashion two months later.

He also claimed the Shanghai Masters, but it is the number of top-five finishes on both The European Tour and US PGA Tour that also stand out for the 22 year old.

"I suppose I was a little bit surprised at myself how quickly I bounced back from Augusta, I thought it might've taken a little bit longer to get over it, but apart from that, it feels like I could've won a few more tournaments," said McIlroy.

"I’ve had chances to win and not taken them. I've won twice this year but I feel I could've won at least two or three more times.

"It's been a great year, the most successful of my career so far, but I feel like I can still improve, there's still areas of my game that can get better."

McIlroy enters the UBS Hong Kong Open still with an outside chance of pipping Luke Donald to The Race to Dubai title.

"Ian (Poulter) proved last year that you can go very low on this golf course, I think he won with 22 under par,” he said.

"That's the sort of golf you need to win around here. You need to get off to a good start but I've played some good golf here and I feel like I can do it again.

"I've played very, very well this year, climbing to number two in the world rankings is a big achievement for me, and to get another win a few weeks ago in Shanghai was nice. It would be great to finish off the season well with a good result here.

"It's a tournament I've wanted to win for a few years and haven't been quite able to do it. It's been a great year, there's been a few changes on the golf course, off the golf course, and I've enjoyed every minute of it."

Poulter, meanwhile, is relishing the defence of his title as the Englishman looks to add to the Volvo World Match Play title he captured earlier in the year.

"This is always a fun event to come and play golf on a course which I love to play, which all of the guys do," said Poulter, who shot 60 in the second round last year.

"It's different to what we play week in and week out, it's a little shorter than normal, it's very tight but pretty fun.

"The reason why we all love to come here and play golf is that we can make plenty of birdies. It's fun to get some confidence, make birdies and shoot low rounds of golf and that is what this course gives us.

"It's good to be back to try and defend my title, I know the guys are going to press hard to get their name on the trophy."

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1MCILROY, RoryNIR18-12
2HAVRET, GrégoryFRA18-10
3HANSON, PeterSWE18-9
T4RAMSAY, RichieSCO18-8
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