Rory McIlroy: I neglected my weaknesses

Rory McIlroy admits putting woes contributed to losing his world number one spot

Andy Roberts's picture
Mon, 19 Oct 2015

Rory McIlroy: I neglected my weaknesses

Like all typical end-of-year school reports, Rory McIlroy admits 2015 "could have been better" - particularly on the subject of putting.

With Jordan Spieth and Jason Day shuffling their way to the front of class with 10 wins including three majors between them, McIlroy knows his own hat-trick of titles during a injury-blighted campaign have been all-but been wiped off the chalkboard.

But that only serves as motivation as the former world number one seeks to regain top spot.

"I would say it was a good season; it wasn't a great season," said world number three McIlroy at last week's Frys.com Open, where he went on to finish a lacklustre tied 26th.

Rory McIlroy swing sequence

"I feel like I'm at a point in my career where a great season is defined by major championships.

"They [Spieth and Day] have obviously won three of the four majors this year so I think the world rankings are an accurate representation of how golf has been over the past 12 months.

"I want to start winning golf tournaments again, and seeing them win five times a year and winning majors, it's something I feel like I've done before and feel like I can do again.

"So there's always motivation there whether guys are doing well or not. I find myself in a position where I'm trying to get my game back to the level it needs to be."

To get back to the level that brought him two major titles in 2014, McIlroy knows he must revise his weaknesses and get hot with the putter, just as Spieth and Day have done by ranking inside the top 10 in the strokes-gained-putting statistic for 2015.

"I have always been a big believer in keeping my strengths as strong as I possibly can," he said. "For me, that is my ball striking and hitting fairways and greens and giving myself plenty of opportunities for birdies.

Jordan Spieth: swing sequence

"You can do that all day and you're going to play well and have good finishes, but you need to - I felt like my putting definitely could have been better this year.

"Around the greens was pretty good, but if you're chipping it within six feet but missing a few of those putts, then your scrambling stats aren't going to be as good as what they could be.

"For me, from now until forever, it's just trying to keep the strengths as strong as I can and chip away at the weaknesses. I sometimes feel last season I neglected those weaknesses too much to focus on the strength. I just need to maybe spend a bit more time on those."

As for a simple race between the "Big Three" for the world number one spot, McIlroy believes at least two other players deserve to throw their hat into the ring.

"I think the two guys (Spieth and Day) that are at the top of the rankings are there deservedly so because they played fantastically well over the last 12 months," he added.

"But there are a lot of guys that have the opportunity to get to that position, and not just the three of us. You got Rickie, Dustin and all the guys."

McIlroy also knows all is not lost in 2015 as he attempts to win the European Tour's Race to Dubai for the second straight season. 

"I've had a bit of time to look back over what happened, and I'm focused on going forward and trying to finish this season well," he said.

"I want to try and win the Race to Dubai over in Europe. I'm still leading that. I have three tournaments left to try and clinch that."

Will Rory regain his world number one ranking in 2016? Or will Jordan and Jason sprint away from him? Share your thoughts in the forum, on Twitter, on Facebook or visit us on YouTube.