Pros advice

McIlroy wants to win at least once in 2017

Rory McIlroy says a mixture of internal and external pressures led to his decision of ducking competitive competition for the next three months.

However, the Northern Irishman believes a lengthy break will offer a great recuperation for his rib injury, had also make him more successful in the second half of his career.

Speaking after a tie for 22nd in the US PGA Championship which, McIlroy said he was in two minds about competing again in 2017. The result also marked a third successive year without a major title.

“I don’t know what I’m going to do,” said McIlroy after a closing 68 at Quail Hollow. “You might not see me until next year. You might see me in a couple of weeks’ time.”

The 28-year-old is likely to play the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship with his father Gerry from October 5-8, before calling time on his 2017 season in a bid to get fully fit for the new campaign.

“I was unsure and I came pretty close to deciding to wait and get myself healthy, but I still have a lot of time after these events to do that and I feel like I am capable of winning,” McIlroy told a press conference ahead of the Northern Trust Open last night.

“There was definitely external pressures [to play], but I think the real thing for me was I want to win at least once before the end of the year.

“I haven’t not won a tournament since the 2008 season, which was my real rookie season on the European Tour. Even in 2013 when I struggled I went down to Australia at the end of the year and won.

“I’m excited for it, to have three months where I can focus on myself, my health, my game and just improvement. I don’t think I’m ever going to get a chance like this in my career again. I feel like it’s a tremendous opportunity to improve as a golfer and with my health and everything.

“We have a three-month plan going forward. I’m getting a lot of assessments and testing done on the 19th and 20th of October and, from there, all we’ll be focusing on is getting me in the best possible shape with my body and my game going into 2018.”

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