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McIlroy: I want two majors this year

Alex Perry
May 27, 2014 « 'Murray needs to love the game again' | Rashid's burst takes Yorkshire top »
What's next for Rory McIlroy?

Rory McIlroy has targeted two major victories this season to make up for his winless year in 2013.

McIlroy won the BMW PGA Championship against all the odds and says he has a new-found confidence as he looks to kick on for the remainder of the campaign.

The Northern Irishman is looking to make up for lost time following a slump in form last year that saw him fall from world No.1 to outside the top 10.

'I'm in the Ryder Cup team'

Rory McIlroy is all but guaranteed a spot in Paul McGinley's Ryder Cup squad © AP
  • Rory McIlroy revealed that he was confident of being on the European Ryder Cup team at Gleneagles in September even before his win at the BMW PGA Championship - thanks to a conversation with captain Paul McGinley.
  • "I was speaking to Paul at Wentworth about what he was thinking in regards to Ryder Cup pairings," he said, before adding with a smile: "The way he was talking - even before I won - sounded like I was already on the team.
  • "The victory means I'm pretty much cemented now so I'm looking forward to it.
  • We don't get the chance to come back and play in the UK and Ireland very often. It will be great."

"My game is really coming back," he said. "I won a major in 2011 and 2012 but last year, so I'll try to make up for that with two this year."

McIlroy's victory at Wentworth, just days after announcing his break-up to tennis star Caroline Wozniacki, surprised even the man himself. But now, he admits, it is time to look forward.

"I knew I was playing well going into the BMW," he said. "I'd finished in the top 10 four times in a row just before this - including the Masters and at Sawgrass - so I knew I wasn't far off my best.

"Top 10s are great but not what I'm looking for.

"The last couple of years I came to Wentworth struggling with my game and getting frustrated. So going there in good form, I was excited.

"Winning does my confidence the world of good, knowing that I can get the job done under pressure and when I need to. That was the most pleasing thing about the win.

"The win in Australia at the end of last year stopped all the questions about reasons behind my form, such as equipment and all that stuff.

"This victory, against one of the best fields of the year, just shows my game is back on track again. Hopefully it won't be long before I'm contending in majors again and it validates all the hard work I've put in this past year."

McIlroy's will not have to wait long for his next shot at a major, with the US Open starting at Pinehurst on June 12.

"I've never been there, but I hear there is going to be no rough and that, for a US Open, is going to be very different," he said.

"I don't think it will be a course that suits one player or another. You'll need to be long - but most players these days can get it out there and it'll suit me to get my driver in my hands.

'Break-up made McIlroy a winner'

  • Rory McIlroy's Ryder Cup team-mate Francesco Molinari has told ESPN that the Northern Irishman's separation from Caroline Wozniacki will have helped him to victory at Wentworth.
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"It's all about the second shot. Obviously the greens are very tricky at Pinehurst with a lot of run-offs and slopes, and you'll have to be very imaginative around them. Some guys will try and bump it into hills and run it up, while others will try and fly it to the top. It's going to be very interesting.

Earlier in the year, McIlroy claimed that golf needs a player to push on and take Tiger Woods' mantle as the dominant player in the game. A comment he stands by.

"I would like to be that guy," he added. "I like to think my win at Wentworth is a springboard to do just that.

"There are still three majors to play this year and a lot of big tournaments to win. Even though we are halfway through the season, I feel like mine is just beginning."

Alex Perry is an assistant editor of ESPN.co.uk. Follow him on Twitter.

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