Mcilroy Gives Warning To Rivals; ‘As Good As I Have Been Ever In My Career’
Rory McIlroy has issued a warning to his rivals ahead of the WM Phoenix Open. “I feel like as complete of a player as I ever have. If you just look at my statistical categories, there’s no real glaring weaknesses there,” said the Northern Irishman ahead of his first Stateside appearance of the year. McIlroy has won three times in his last eight starts across the PGA Tour and DP World Tour.
Rory McIlroy has sounded a warning to those players eyeing his world No. 1 status ahead of his first PGA Tour appearance of the year at the WM Phoenix Open.
The Northern Irishman returns to action in Arizona fresh from victory at the DP World Tour’s Dubai Desert Classic last month which extended his stay at the top of the Official World Golf Ranking.
However, his top spot is under threat with fellow high-flyers Jon Rahm and Scottie Scheffler both within striking range – and both set to tee it up as part of a high-calibre field at TPC Scottsdale.
McIlroy, who has won on his last two PGA Tour starts at the Tour Championship and the CJ Cup, is certainly up for the challenge. Asked whether he felt like he was the best player in the world right now, his answer was simple and straight to the point.
Pushed to elaborate, the 33-year-old added: “Because I do. I’m playing well. I feel like consistency-wise, I’ve been as good as I have been ever in my career.
“I said at the end of last year, I feel like as complete of a player as I ever have. If you just look at my statistical categories, there’s no real glaring weaknesses there. I’ve worked really hard on that, to try to become a more well-rounded player.
“I think the results speak for themselves, as well, over not just the past six months but really the past 18 months post-Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits, I feel like I’ve been on a really good run of form since then.”
That may be an understatement. Not only has McIlroy won three of his last eight tournaments, in the other five events he finished within the top eight.
It’s a run of form that calls to mind his spectacular 2014 season when he won two majors – The Open Championship and the US PGA Championship along with a World Golf Championship title and the DP World Tour’s flagship event – the BMW PGA Championship.
The bad news for his rivals on both tours is that McIlroy believes his best could still be yet to come.
“I don’t think I should be up here if I thought my best days weren’t ahead of me,” he said.
“I can’t be sitting up here and talking to you guys and trying to win golf tournaments if I think that the glory days are gone.
“You have to be an eternal optimist in this game, and I 100 percent believe that I can still — I’ve won 30 whatever times around the world as a professional. There’s no reason that I can’t double that number going forward. Like I truly believe that.”
He added: “Who knows whenever you’ve peaked or not peaked?
“I’m guilty of looking back to 2014 and thinking about how I played then and are there certain things from that time in my career I’d want to put into my own career at the minute.
“But when I look at everything and I look at the statistical categories…I don’t feel like I’ve ever been as complete of a player as I am right now.”