Rory McIlroy was typically engaging in his press conference on the eve of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, where he will defend the title at Emirates Golf Club this week.
From the tournament in question to zip-lining, the Masters and Andy Murray, the Northern Irish four-time Major winner covered a wide range of topics, and here europeantour.com has selected the best lines...
On his Dubai defence
“It’s always nice to be back in Dubai, and I guess the last couple of times I’ve played here I’ve done pretty well, so I’m sort of going for three in a row in Dubai with winning here last year and then winning the DP World Tour Championship at the end of last season. So it seems to bring out my best golf. I think this is my tenth year here – I played twice as an amateur. So I’ve got a lot of great memories and I get a lot of support here.
“There are a couple of little things that I took from Abu Dhabi and worked on last week. So hopefully you’ll see my game just a little bit sharper, and I’ll be trying to win again here, win for the third time to join Ernie as the only people to win three times.”
On the Masters
“It’s going to be the most talked-about tournament because of the gap between the US PGA Championship in August and April. It’s a big deal and there’s a long wait, and for people who don’t follow golf closely, it’s probably the start of their golf season. I don't mind talking about it this early, as long as I don’t put so much emphasis on it because there are so many other great tournaments that I want to try to win before getting to Augusta.
“Of course you want to be part of the discussion. Sometimes it gets into your head at times when you don’t want it to, but it’s always better to be part of the conversation.”
“Someone suggested at the start of the week that we try zip-lining, so I thought I’d do it on my afternoon off yesterday. It was really good fun. I’ve done them before but not in a setting like that. It was really cool and a nice way to spend the afternoon.”
It’s a nice change. It was a bit weird looking down the range and not really knowing who was a caddie and who was a player, but yes, I think it’s a good change.
"Golf needs to move with the times, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with showing the bottom half of your legs.”
On Andy Murray
“You’re not going to find a more driven, more dedicated professional athlete in the world than Andy Murray. He does absolute everything in his power to get the most out of his game. He’s Wimbledon Champion, US Open Champion, Olympic Champion. He’s one of the best British sportspeople ever in my opinion. But he’s been unlucky. He’s come up in an era with Roger (Federer) to start, Rafa (Nadal) and now Novak (Djokovic), and Novak looks like he could potentially be better than all of them. He could win more Grand Slams than Roger and could ultimately be the best ever.
“So just to compete with that and come up against that the whole time, it must be tough in a way but at the same time, he’s the second best in the world at what he does, and he’s already proven he can win at the highest level. I'm sure he’ll continue to, but it must be tough mentally.”
On Tiger Woods
“Hopefully if he can get healthy, I would still love to have a crack at him down the stretch in a Major, I would love that, just once. At this point it’s just up to him to get healthy and get his game back, and if I hopefully keep playing the way I’m playing, maybe one day it’ll happen.”
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