Adrenaline junkie Rory McIlroy admits he can’t wait to rediscover the sensational form that helped him become Irish golf’s first world No 1.
Now third in the rankings, McIlroy goes into this week’s megabucks WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in Akron bidding to emerge from his mini slump in time to contend for next week’s US PGA and the run up to September’s Ryder Cup.
Fed up playing well below his best, McIlroy said: “I’d love to just get into contention and just feel the buzz of having a chance to win a tournament coming down the back nine.
“It’s something that is quite addictive.
“It’s a nice feeling and I’d love to be able to do that at some point in the next few weeks.”
After missing four cuts in five events and thrown away a chance to win the FedEx St Jude Classic in Memphis with a final hole double bogey, the Ulster ace admits he’s been thinking too much on the golf course and not “seeing” his shots as he normally does.
After fading to tied 60th in the Open, he said: “It’s been frustrating. Obviously it would be nice to tee it up every week and be in contention, but it’s just not going to happen.
“It was happening there for a while and it was nice but my game just sort of went off for a few weeks.
“The last few weeks I’ve just been trying to get it back to where it was and feel like I’m definitely getting closer to that.”
McIlroy loves Firestone Country Club where he has finished ninth and sixth for the past two years and shot eight straight rounds in the 60s.
And that’s why he’s hoping he can bounce back to form in the town the call Rubber City.
Determined to notch a top finish, he said: “I love this event. I think it’s one of the best events we play all year and definitely one of the best courses.
“It’s just about going out there and putting a score on the card, and it would be nice to play well here this week and go into the US PGA with a good finish behind me.
“There’s a few things to play for, obviously, two big weeks coming up, and then concentrate on the FedExCup and try and do well in that, and then obviously try to go into the Ryder Cup playing as well as possible. Yeah, good stretch coming up, and looking forward to it.”
After blowing the Masters last year, the Ulsterman revealed he sent defending Bridgestone Invitational champion Adam Scott a text following the Aussie’s late meltdown at the Open at Royal Lytam and St Annes two weeks ago.
McIlroy said: “I knew how he was feeling. I just said, ‘Don’t let the last four holes hide the fact that you played better than everyone else for the first 68.’
“…You know, it’s tough. It’s a tough loss. At that moment in time you think it’s the only chance you’re ever going to get, and your whole world came crashing down.
“But in reality, Adam is such a great player that he’s going to have plenty of chances to win more major championships.
“I said it at the time at the Masters that you need to lose before you can win. You need to learn how to handle that.
“I’m sure he knows what he’s done wrong, and I’m sure that when he gets himself in that position again that he’ll do the right thing.”
Graeme McDowell was a late arrival in Akron after a rapid visit to Kiawah Island for the US PGA. Michael Hoey complete the Irish contingent in Akron with Hoey revealing yesterday that he has been handed an invitation for next week’s US PGA.
Ireland will have five players in the final major of the season with McIlroy, McDowell and Hoey joined by Darren Clarke and Padraig Harrington.