Rory McIlroy admits that he needs to take Tiger Woods’ advice and be more selfish from now on.
Bidding to end a 12-month victory drought in this week’s DP World Tour Championship following the year from hell, Ten-golf.es reports that the Ulsterman’s off course distractions have forced him to look to Woods for inspiration.
McIlroy said: “Sometimes you have to say ‘no’ and put yourself first. I need to do that to remain at the highest level.
“Tiger said it to me last year. He said I should remember what I achieved putting myself first and we know Tiger, 99 percent of the time, his time is for himself and that’s a really good thing.”
McIlroy admits that it’s been tough to concentrate on golf this year as he’s being sued by Oakley for breach of contract at the same time that he is embroiled in another major legal battle with his former agents, Horizon Sports Management.
“I’ve been in more lawyers offices in the last few months that I will be probably for the rest of my life,” McIlroy is quoted as saying.
“A lot of things have happened, unpleasant things that I didn’t want to happen and that makes it very difficult to concentrate on a sport that requires as much concentration as golf.
“It’s a distraction I have had to live with and the people around me have had to live with. Obbiously I don’t need that in my life.”
As for the season-ending event, McIlroy is loking for a win that could see him finish the year in the Top-10 in the Race to Dubai.
“I feel like I’m playing well,” said the 24 year old, who won the event last year to capture the Race to Dubai. “I feel like I’m playing much better. Obviously there has been a lot of improvement in my game, and a lot of positive signs, which is a great thing.
“I’ve still got a couple more tournaments left this year, and it’s nice to come back to a place like Dubai where I had success last year and some good memories. I’m in a good place to try to defend my title this week.
“It seems like every year I’ve come here, maybe apart from 2010, I’ve been in the mix to try to win The Race to Dubai. I’ve been there or thereabouts: Lee [Westwood] in ‘09 played very well to beat me, and Luke [Donald] in ‘11, and obviously last year it was nice for it to be my turn.
“It’s a little bit different coming in this week and not having much to play for in terms of Race to Dubai, but I still want to try to finish the season off really strongly. I feel like this course really suits my game. I know it would be a great way to cap off the European season with a win.
“It’s been an interesting year. Obviously a lot of stuff has gone on both on the course and off the course, but the big thing for me is my game is in really good shape again, and that’s the most important thing.
“My game is in good shape, and if that starts to work the way I know I can and the way most people know I can, then everything else falls into place.”
The Daily Telegraph’s Jamie Corrigan reports from Dubai with McIlroy’s original quotes, including this on the litigation:
“I’ve obviously got people to handle that stuff for me and I only see a fraction of it,” he said. “But it’s something that shouldn’t be in my mind. You know, it’s something that I don’t really think and athlete or anyone should go through.”
In an interview with BBC Radio, McIlroy said:
“It’s something that I don’t think a professional athlete or any person should really have to go through. You are taking time away from what you should be doing which is thinking about your game and focusing on your game.
“I’ve spent countless hours with lawyers and whatever this year. I’m not saying it’s been a huge detriment to my game but it’s just something that’s filled my head when it shouldn’t really be there.
“I’m not making excuses because my game has not been good enough this year and I completely accept that and I take responsibility for that.
“But it would be nice next year when things hopefully are a bit calmer, if I can look forward to just playing golf.”