Date: November 27, 2013
Author: Golf Australia

Rory McIlroy Pre-Event Press Conference Transcript

RORY McILROY HAMISH JONES: Rory welcome back to Sydney. After anchor man two, there&aposs been plenty happening since you arrived in town. RORY McILROY: [LAUGHS] Yeah, a little bit. HAMISH JONES: You played this morning. How did you find the course? RORY McILROY: The course was good. It was nice to get back on. I played 12 holes yesterday and sort of remembered most of the holes. There were a few that I didn&apost. Obviously it&aposs been seven years since I&aposve been here but it was nice to get back out. I played 18 holes there this morning in beautiful weather. I&aposm not sure how long that&aposs going to last this week, but I think tomorrow is supposed to be nice anyway. The course is playing really well. With this weather, hopefully over the next couple of days it&aposll dry up a little bit and sort of play more like it should in terms of a little faster and get the greens a little firmer. But yeah, really enjoyable course to play. I think there&aposs plenty of birdie chances but also there&aposs some holes where they can come up and bite you pretty quickly; so it&aposs going to be a good test this week. HAMISH JONES: Your form, you&aposre hitting it more positively in the last few weeks in Asia and Turkey as well. Where do you feel that&aposs going to this week? RORY McILROY: Yeah, I feel like the last couple of events have been much better; a couple of solid performances, China, Dubai, Korea as well. I feel like my game is in good shape. It&aposs probably the best it&aposs been all year, which is nice. I&aposve said for the last couple of months I just wanted to try and finish this season strongly and get some momentum to go in 2014. This would be the perfect place to get that first win of the year and give me a sort of springboard into the next season. Q: Rory, obviously a lot of Aussie fans would love to see Adam Scott win that triple crown. How much would you like to spoil those plans? RORY McILROY: He&aposs won enough this year. [LAUGHS] I&aposd love to be in the mix on Sunday and at least give myself a chance to take it away from him I guess. He&aposs playing very well. He won the PGA and the Aussie Masters down here and played very well last week at the World Cup so he&aposs a man in form. Obviously Jason Day as well, coming off a great win last week, Kevin Streelman&aposs down here. There are a lot of guys that know this place very well. It&aposs going to be tough. There&aposs going to be a lot of guys that feel like they have a chance to win this week and I know that I&aposm going to have to play some of my best golf to give myself a chance. Q. Rory it&aposs been a fairly lean year, not as much success as you&aposre used to certainly. Do you think that next win, whenever it comes, you&aposll&apos appreciate it that little bit more? RORY McILROY: Yeah well, it&aposs been just over a year since I won in Dubai at the end of last season, so yeah, it&aposs been too long to go without a win. I&aposll definitely appreciate the next win whenever it comes along. I always appreciate the win. It&aposs nice to be able to come out on top any time that you can. But I guess after a few things that I went through this year it might just be that little bit sweeter. As I said, it would be a perfect place to do it here. It&aposs a very prestigious tournament; a lot of great names on that trophy. It would be great to put my name alongside them. Q. Adam played in the group before you and you would have seen the gallery following him; he&aposs got a lot of fans but yours was nearly as big. Are you surprised by how much support you have out here and what was the interaction out there like? It seemed like you were taking 50,000 photos between shots? RORY McILROY: [LAUGHS] Yeah, it was great. It was great to see so many people out there on a Wednesday. Obviously Adam will have a lot of support this week and hopefully I&aposll have a good bit of support as well. It&aposs nice. I think we&aposre expecting big crowds this week. I think it&aposs a great time for Australian golf. You&aposve got your first Aussie winning the Masters this year. Obviously Adam&aposs been playing very, very well for a couple of years now and obviously climbed up to two in the world; Jason coming off his win and Australia winning the World Cup last week, so it&aposs exciting times for Australian golf. I think the fans want to come out and watch that. I&aposm excited about the week and hopefully I&aposll just have a little bit of support. I know the fans here will be supporting the Aussie guys more than me but it will still be nice to play in front of such big crowds. Q. All year big talk about particularly your change of club. If you could pinpoint one reason as to why this year hasn&apost been as successful as say 2012, what would it be? RORY McILROY: It&aposs funny, at the start of the year I started the year off with a bit of a swing flaw, was taking it a bit too far on the outside on the way back, dropping it a little bit too far on the inside on the way day. I was a little bit inconsistent with my swing and then you spend a couple of months trying to get out of that. I sort of over corrected it a bit, started taking the club a bit too far back on the inside and coming over the top of it, which is the complete opposite sort of to what I usually do in my swing. So I started hitting the ball left to right and started seeing golf courses much differently, much differently to how I&aposm used to seeing them because my natural shot shape is right to left. Then from there, not being able to hit that draw that I&aposm so comfortable with, I lost my confidence a little bit and then the game started to get away from me. I feel like the long game is the most solid part of my game and whenever that wasn&apost as good as it could be, you can lose a bit of confidence. Then that puts pressure on your short game and then it just sort of goes from there. A couple of swing flaws have been the biggest factor and finally getting out of those and feeling like I&aposm swinging the club really well and when I do swing well, swing the way I want to, that&aposs when the results usually come. Q. Nicole Jeffery from the Australian Rory. You&aposve probably just started to answer my question as to why you think it&aposs turned around in the last month or so for you. RORY McILROY: Yeah, I took four weeks off after the FedEx Cup in the States before this little Asia swing and before coming to here and did some great work on my swing with my coach Michael Bannon. That&aposs really been it and then once you see good shots on the course and you start to see results, your confidence comes from that. That&aposs really what it&aposs been. I&aposve played four tournaments since that little break and I&aposve played well for the most part in all of them. Your confidence just sort of builds each week and that&aposs really what it&aposs been. Q. Rory, you just mentioned Michael there. Is he with you full time now and he doesn&apost do any work at Bangor nowadays? RORY McILROY: No, he left Bangor at the start of this year. When he&aposs at home he&aposs not there but he&aposll still coach other people and juniors and whatever, people that want to come and see him but he&aposs not at Bangor Golf Club anymore. Q. Does he travel much with you now? RORY McILROY: Yeah he does. He was out with me in Dubai for five days before I came here, just for a little– Q. Is it great to have him by your side rather than just ringing him up or sending him videos of yourself? RORY McILROY: Yeah, I mean it&aposs sort of been a different year so a lot of the learning process and how we work with each other, now that we have more time together. We still need to work – what worked in the past was I would go and play for a few weeks, come home for a couple of weeks, work with him, then I&aposd go away again and he wouldn&apost come to the tournaments. So when I was off we would do all the work away from the tournaments and I thought this year sometimes we started to work at tournaments, work on the swing, work on a few things and that doesn&apost really work for me. It&aposs just about trying to use him in the right way. So taking those five days for instance after Dubai to work on a few things before coming here and going to LA next week is what works better for me. I don&apost really like having too many swing thoughts when I&aposm playing in the tournament or out on the golf course. So utilising him on my weeks off is very important and that&aposs the way it has worked in the past and that&aposs still the way it&aposs going to work in the future. Q. You mentioned earlier that you remembered a few holes out there. Can you tell us what else you remember about that Australian Open in 2006? RORY McILROY: I remember there were hail stones one day. Q. The first day was absolutely dreadful. RORY McILROY: Yeah, I remember that. But then I remember I played with Kevin Stadler the first two days. I can&apost remember who the third was. Q. I don&apost think you did actually. RORY McILROY: I definitely played with Kevin Stadler. Q. I don&apost think you did. RORY McILROY: I&aposm sure I did. I&aposm sure I did. Q. I m not going to tell you now who they were, but I think you played with him later on. RORY McILROY: Okay, I&aposm sorry, I think I played with him one of the days. Q. The third round. RORY McILROY: But yeah, apart from that I can&apost really remember much. I know I made the cut, finished well down the field but apart from that I can&apost remember. Q. You were a very polite young man that year, you still are. RORY McILROY: Thank you. Thank you very much. Q. Very quiet, courteous. You had a mop of hair back then, now it&aposs– RORY McILROY: A little shorter. I need a haircut. [LAUGHS] Q. Stoney&aposs got older since you were here last too Rors. RORY McILROY: [LAUGHS] Q. When you were in Dubai you sort of asked to rate the season, first part two, middle five, I think you rated your third part eight. RORY McILROY: Yes. Q. Is there a part of you that wished the tour was still going rather than finish up in Tiger&aposs event next week or are you looking forward to a break? RORY McILROY: Looking forward to a break. It&aposs been a long year I guess mentally more than physically. Physically golf doesn&apost take that much out of you but mentally it&aposs quite draining, especially this year for me, not just the golf and being frustrated with my game but having to answer the questions and having to come up with reasons why I&aposm not playing well and all that stuff. But yeah, it&aposs great to go into the off season feeling comfortable with your game and knowing that you&aposre on the right track and knowing that you can start the next season strongly. I&aposm excited about that. I&aposve still got two tournaments left. I&aposd love to get a win, whether it&aposs here or next week in LA, I&aposd love it to come here – the sooner the better. But I wouldn&apost mind if the season went on a little longer because I had those four weeks off after the FedEx so I feel like I could still play a few more weeks, but looking forward to Christmas and new year and getting ready to start the new season. Q. Rory, you mentioned attempting to get a little momentum with a victory here. Is it helpful that you&aposve got guys like Adam and Jason playing well so that if you do get that victory it&aposs going to mean something? RORY McILROY: Yeah, definitely I think it would be huge to come to Australia and beat guys of that calibre, especially when they&aposre playing so well. Adam&aposs been on a great run of form, Jason seems to be playing very well with a victory last week. There are a few other guys in this field that are going to be hard to beat this week. It&aposs going to be a great week. You&aposre going to have to play very well to win or at least get yourself in a position to win, and having guys like that in the field will obviously make it even more special if you do end up lifting the trophy. Q. Rory, you&aposve obviously been at the top of the mountain as far as rankings are concerned, it appears now that another player&aposs in Tiger Woods&apos sights in Adam Scott. What chance do you give Adam of reaching the pinnacle as far as the rankings are concerned? RORY McILROY: He&aposs got as good a chance as anyone. Sometimes the rankings, it doesn&apost just necessarily – it&aposs not just about your performance, it&aposs how, for instance how Tiger plays for the next six months. When I got to number one I didn&apost expect to get there so quickly but because I knew a lot of good finishes in a row and didn&apost have many points to defend from a couple of years previous and Luke didn&apost have the best start to 2012, the gap all of a sudden closed very quickly and then I was able to overtake him in March. I didn&apost think I would have had a chance until at least the Summer time. It can happen very quickly where the guy in front of you doesn&apost play so well and you play very well. But yeah, Adam&aposs on a great run of form. It seems like every time he tees it up he&aposs got a chance to win a tournament and I think the thing about the rankings is if you win tournaments then you take care of that. It will fall into place or it will happen. He&aposs got a great chance. Q. On a slightly different note, I&aposm just wondering if you&aposre taking any interest in the Ashes and who you&aposd like to maybe see win that one? RORY McILROY: Anyone but England isn&apost it? [LAUGHS] No. Yeah, I must say, I do like when the Ashes is on. Even a few years ago when I was back home getting up at midnight to watch the first ball bowled at the Boxing Day test matches, something like that. It&aposs always something that I was quite interested in. Yeah, I mean, the Aussies had a pretty convincing victory up there in Brisbane so maybe more of the same. Hopefully more of the same. Q. You would have seen what happened to Jonathan Trott, you know he&aposs a sports guy and it looks like great fun but ultimately do you think those sorts of stress related conditions are more prevalent than a lot of people might believe? RORY McILROY: I think with those boys as well, I think the sledging this year has probably been a bit worse than other years as well. It looks like they&aposre just having a go at each other after every ball. It would be tough; it would be really tough to take that for however long you&aposre out there for. They seem to really get at each other&aposs throat whenever they&aposre in there. It&aposs sad to see something like that happen and it just shows what a mental toll sport can take on you sometimes. Hopefully he gets home and spends some time with his family and recovers and can come back. I guess it&aposs becoming more and more, as sport becomes so big and there&aposs so much pressure and so much on the line, it&aposs becoming more and more common that these sorts of stress related illnesses are happening and it just shows how much of a mental toll it takes on you sometimes. Q. You&aposve just mentioned sledging, but on a lighter note regarding sledging, if you play a practice round say with Tiger or the recent one in China, is there much sledging between the two of you on one of those occasions RORY McILROY: Yeah there is. I think it&aposs a little more, obviously a little more. Q. Subdued? RORY McILROY: Yeah and a bit more humour in it and a bit more banterful. I think it&aposs a bit different when two people know each other pretty well. You can sort of get at one another and know that it&aposs just a bit of fun. Q. It happens in club golf all the time. RORY McILROY: Sure, but at least you can go and have a beer or whatever after you play. I don&apost think those boys are going and having beers together after the Test matches. Q. Can you give us the best sledge you&aposve ever given Tiger? RORY McILROY: No. Q. You don&apost want to or you can&apost? RORY McILROY: After 9pm, after the watershed maybe. No. [LAUGHS] Q. Rory I saw that Graeme McDowell played the World Cup last week and said that representing Ireland there would be like for the Olympics. Where are you on that decision at the moment? RORY McILROY: On the fence. [LAUGHS] It&aposs a long way away. It&aposs still, I guess it&aposs just under three years away. But yeah, it&aposs something that I&aposll try and put off until the time when I have to. HAMISH JONES: Any other questions? Rory, thank you for your time. We&aposll see you this week. Good luck. RORY McILROY: Thank you. Transcripts provided by