Rory McIlroy unfazed by chance at world No.1 spot

Rory McIlroy isn't putting himself under pressure this week as he has the chance to become world No.1.

Jack Seddon's picture
Thu, 23 Jan 2020

Rory McIlroy returns to the PGA Tour this week for the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines, with a star-studded line-up ready to battle it out in California.

In action this week are the likes of Tiger Woods, defending champion Justin Rose and 2017 winner Jon Rahm, who will all fancy there chances this week.

Following McIlroy's collapse at The Open Championship at Royal Portrush, McIlroy bounced back like a true champion, winning the Tour Championship and FedEx Cup, before winning his fourth event of 2019 at the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai.

This week, victory for McIlroy would see him regain the world No.1 spot, a position he hasn't held since 2015 and the Northern Irishman admits it was far from his mind when he missed the cut at the Open.

"It wasn't even on my radar when I was flying back from Northern Ireland in July," McIlroy told Sky Sports. "But I've played consistently good golf since that point.

"I learned a lot of things at Portrush that I've put into my game, into my preparation, and into my thought process going into other tournaments. And I've had a pretty good run since then.

"I guess my thing is when I set myself goals, I set myself goals like I want to be plus-one strokes gained in the approach play stats, stuff like that. It's all about the process, about the game, and it's all about trying to make improvements. If I do that and I achieve those goals, then hopefully inevitably I get to that position.

"I don't think it irks me or gets me annoyed that I'm not holding that No 1 position. I feel like if I go about my business and I try to do the right things all the time, if I played well enough for a sustained period of time, hopefully I get there."

McIlroy has never won a tournament in his first start of the year and the four-time major champion admits winning this week will be a difficult task, given the talented field accompanying him.

"I read a stat that I've never won in my first week back in any year, but I've had a few decent finishes so maybe this is the week where I can get myself over the line," he said.

"If it doesn't happen this week, I'm sure I'll have plenty more chances over the rest of the season to get back to No 1, so I'm not going to put that much pressure on myself this week to get it done."

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