Hindsight is a wonderful thing but Rory McIlroy insists he will learn from the mistakes he’s made this year and use the 17 days he has to get ready for The Open to find the perfect driver for Muirfield.
The world No 2 admits that driving the ball is the foundation of his game and having struggled to find a Nike model that gives him confidence, he’ll spend the next fortnight working hard to sharpen his driving and putting for a tilt at the third leg of the career Grand Slam.
After staying on to practice at Carton House after missing the Irish Open cut, the two-time major winner believes he can still make up for lost time despite getting his schedule wrong this year.
“The driver hasn’t been the best club in my bag this year to be honest,” McIlroy said. “It’s been a bit of a struggle off the tee. I base my game around that and if I drive the ball well, I am going to do well.
“So I am going to meet with the Nike guys on Thursday and test a few more drivers and try and get something set up perfectly for me so I have confidence in that going into the rest of the season as well.”
McIlroy swing is also out of kilter but he reckons that once he sorts out his driver, he will be ready.
“If I do that I feel confident I will turn up at Muirfield in a couple of weeks’ time in good shape,” he said. “It’s always great going to a major championship and The Open is one that I would dearly love to win and it would get me a little bit closer to that career Grand Slam. It would be great to give myself a chance.”
McIlroy admits that he hasn’t played enough golf this year to get sharp, explaining: “I think the schedule has been a bit light but you live and you learn. It is always easy in hindsight to say these things but I will learn from it and make sure that it doesn’t happen again.
“If you are not making mistakes you are not learning I guess. Everyone makes mistakes and I have made a lot of mistakes but you learn from them and you move on.
“There is no point in looking back - you have to draw a line under it and move forward and that is what I am trying to do.
“The best way to do that is just to work hard and practice and get my game into the best possible shape for the last few months of the season.”
McIlroy also needs to find a putter that works consistently after a poor week on the greens in the Irish Open.
He said: “I am trying out of a couple of different putters here on the putting green because I wasn’t happy with the way I putted the last couple of days.
“I feel that if I had putted the way I can I would have saved myself a lot of shots and would be out there playing today.”
As for his decision to remain at Carton House to practice, he said: “I’ve stayed around for the weekend just to get some practice in.
“I feel like I have been saying for a while that my game is not far away and I just want to go and get my practice done and while I have the whole team together it is great to take advantage of that time.
“Even though the fans don’t see me on the course they will see me on the range and the putting green. It is a bit disappointing for the tournament and the fans that a few of us aren’t out there contending for the title.”