McIlroy hoping to show main credentials in 2022


Rory McIlroy makes his first look of the brand new 12 months subsequent week on the Abu Dhabi Championship, trying to bounce again to his finest after a topsy-turvy 2021.

The Northern Irishman will make his eighth try to finish the profession Grand Slam on the Masters in April, however ending his eight-year look ahead to any main title can be a wonderful achievement.

McIlroy was the world primary halfway by way of the 2020 season however had slipped to 16th within the rankings simply 15 months later.

There have been flashes of his finest within the closing phases of final 12 months, though it ended with a late collapse and torn shirt on the DP World Tour Championship in November and a low end within the Hero World Challenge.

He jumped again into the highest 10 by claiming his 20th PGA Tour victory on the CJ Cup in October, turning into simply the fourth non-American to reach the mark since World War II.

“For the last few months, I was trying to be someone else,” four-time main winner McIlroy mentioned after that success. “I realise that being me is enough and that’s enough to do things like this.”

McIlroy had endured a nightmare Ryder Cup as Europe have been thrashed 19-9 by the United States at Whistling Straits.

The 32-year-old misplaced all of his three matches on the opening two days, earlier than saving some face with a win over Xander Schauffele within the singles.

“I was disappointed with how I played (in the Ryder Cup),” admitted McIlroy. “I get more emotional thinking about that than about this (CJ Cup win).”

After a winless 2020, two titles final 12 months have been welcome for McIlroy, however he can be focusing on the majors this time round.

He stays probably the most constant gamers at golf’s 4 greatest occasions, with 13 top-10 finishes since his final title on the 2014 PGA Championship.

But McIlroy has not often challenged deep into the ultimate spherical of any of these tournaments, with even his runners-up effort within the 2018 British Open a four-way tie, two strokes adrift of winner Francesco Molinari.

McIlroy mentioned after the Ryder Cup that generally he’s not onerous sufficient on himself, regardless of having fun with a glittering profession up to now.

“Sometimes I give myself too straightforward of a time and I attempt to play it off with, , ‘Golf would not outline me and I’ve obtained stability in my life and I’m completely happy away from the course’.

“That’s obviously very true, but if I’m honest, sometimes I sort of maybe use that as a way to lessen the blow if I don’t play good golf.”

McIlroy has generally been a sluggish starter and is with no title within the month of January.

But he can be among the many favourites going to Abu Dhabi, the place he has completed second 4 occasions, though world quantity two and British Open champion Collin Morikawa heads a robust area.

McIlroy appeared in wonderful contact for the primary three rounds of the European Tour’s season-ending Tour Championship in Dubai, solely to slide from the lead right into a tie for sixth as Morikawa stormed by way of the sphere to win.

Morikawa, a two-time main champion at simply 24, is considered one of a number of kids that McIlroy should get the higher of within the subsequent 12 months if he’s to change into a dominant power once more.

World primary Jon Rahm can be hoping so as to add to his US Open triumph from final June, whereas Dustin Johnson was imperious within the Ryder Cup, Viktor Hovland is now the top-ranked European and Jordan Spieth is threatening a fully-blown resurgence.

Time shouldn’t be working out for McIlroy but — Phil Mickelson gained the 2021 PGA Championship aged 50 — however his rivals will not be going to get any weaker

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