McIlroy philosophical about form
Rory McIlroy has opened 2019 with three top five finishes, but admits that he is trying to stay resolute as he closes in on a full 12 months since his last win.
The Northern Irishman faces a potentially career-defining season in which he turns 30 years of age and plays the Open Championship in front of adoring home crowds, yet he is desperate to end a period in which the victories have refused to come.
He has completed just one win since September 2016 (nearly two and a half years) and is nearing five years since he last tasted triumph in a major championship.
Yeah, I'm happy with pretty much everything. Just a couple of loose shots here and there with the irons. I can tidy that up.Rory McIlroy
This season he has committed to playing golf on the PGA Tour and feels his game is close enough to taste the next win.
"I'm happy enough," he insisted after finishing fourth in last week's Genesis Open.
"I keep preaching patience and I didn't have my best stuff this week. I'm struggling to find the middle of the clubface with a lot of iron shots and sort of plucked my way around. At Riviera, you can do, there's no hazards. So I managed my game well this week. It's another top five and a step in the right direction.
"If this was the middle of the season, and I just had a run like this, it's still good golf. Cumulatively I've probably shot close to 45 under par for my first three events of the season and the last two golf courses for sure have been quite demanding."
This week he travels south for the first WGC event of the year, the Mexico Championship at Club de Golf Chapultepec where, in his only previous appearance, in 2017, he held a two-shot halfway lead prior to finishing tied seventh.
"The game's right there," he said. "Yeah, I'm happy with pretty much everything. Just a couple of loose shots here and there with the irons. I can tidy that up. I've still got a bit of a right miss going on with the longer clubs, just try to get that out of the game and we'll be right there."
McIlroy is 11/1 to win the tournament outright and 2/1 to end the week as the Top GB & I player.
In his quest to find a fifth major he is rated a 13/2 shot in the Masters, 12/1 to win the PGA Championship a week after he turns 30, and 11/1 to lift the Claret Jug on Irish soil at Royal Portrush.
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