September 27, 2020, 12:47

Rory McIlroy vows never to take winning feeling for granted

Rory McIlroy vows never to take winning feeling for granted

Rory McIlroy looks back at the final moments of his victory at the 2019 Players Championship on our special watchalong show.

Rory McIlroy insisted he will never take winning for granted as he reflected on his victory at The Players Championship last year.

Fresh from hitting balls in practice for the first time since professional golf was suspended after just one round at TPC Sawgrass last month, McIlroy gave some fresh insight into his performance last season as he joined Sky Sports and the Golf Channel for a special live Watchalong.

McIlroy insisted he’ll not take winning for granted

The current world No 1 produced a composed final-day display following a poor start, and a two-under 70 was enough to clinch a one-shot win over wily veteran Jim Furyk.

Victory in the PGA Tour’s flagship event was followed by three further wins, including the Tour Championship which earned him the FedExCup crown for the second time and the $15m bonus that came with it.

McIlroy, who is approaching his 31st birthday, already has 27 titles to his name, including four majors, but he remains determined to enjoy the winning feeling for years to come and vowed to avoid letting it become mundane and routine.

Rory McIlroy admits he was thinking about celebrating with a glass of wine as he closed in on victory at the 2019 Players Championship!

“I certainly never take it for granted,” he said as he watched himself taking a victory stroll up the 18th fairway at Sawgrass. “You lose a lot more than you win in golf, and if you get a 10 per cent win ratio throughout your career, you have had one hell of a career.

“I enjoy my wins, I celebrate them as much as I can, and it never gets old. It is such a great feeling and it’s what you work hard for, and it’s why I’ve been outside hitting balls for the first time in seven weeks.

“That was my first journey to getting back to playing on Tour and hopefully having more moments like winning The Players Championship.”

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McIlroy also admitted his second to the 72nd hole last year drifted much closer to the water than he had intended, his ball actually pitching between the flag and the lake before coming to rest within easy two-putt distance.

After a huge drive up the last, McIlroy said: “I had an eight-iron from a slight upslope, so I was aiming at the spire on the clubhouse. I didn’t want it to turn as much as it did. I definitely wasn’t trying to get that ball to land anywhere near the pin.

“But it worked out well, and I gave myself enough margin for error with where I was aiming. I was set up at the right edge of the green and, coming off that upslope, the ball just turned a little more right to left on me than I thought it would, and the wind was off the right as well.

McIlroy edged out Jim Furyk to the title at Sawgrass

“It was just nice to see the ball pitch on the green and stop, and it’s always nice to walk up to the green knowing that you have two putts for the win.

“If you have the pleasure of walking up the 18th fairway to the green in that situation, it gives you a chance to have a look back on the week and reflect on certain shots, or certain moments.

“It’s a great feeling, but there’s always something in the back of your mind telling you it’s not over yet, and you still have to concentrate. Even though you’ve got a putt to finish it off in style, you’ve still got to focus 100 per cent and make sure you get it done.”


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