Wednesday, January 28, 2015

McIlroy won't settle for less than a win

Rory McIlroy insists anything less than victory will qualify as a disappointment when the Ulsterman returns to the scene of his maiden European Tour win at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic.
The World Number One registered his first triumph in this event in 2009, and has since gone on to add four Major Championships in his rise to the pinnacle of the game.

McIlroy's last six starts on The European Tour read first-first-first-second-second-second, but with the last of those victories coming five months ago at the US PGA Championship, McIlroy is keen to end his runner-up streak this week.
To do so, he will have to overcome a star-studded field which includes the man just behind him in second place in the Official World Golf Ranking, Sweden’s Henrik Stenson, as well as the reigning US Open Champion Martin Kaymer, Ernie Els, Sergio Garcia and Graeme McDowell.
All players will wear black ribbons on the opening day of the tournament as a mark of respect to the late Ashok Bakshi, a founding Member and Past Captain of the Emirates Golf Club, who suffered a cardiac arrest while warming up for Wednesday’s pro-am on the driving range at the Emirates Golf Club.
The European Tour, in conjunction with tournament promoter golf in DUBAi and the Emirates Golf Club, took the decision to cancel the pro-am and close the golf course, as well as all golfing facilities at the Emirates Golf Club on Wednesday afternoon, as a mark of respect to Mr Bakshi, who was a hugely popular figure throughout the golfing community in Dubai.
Player quotes:

Rory McIlroy – “I’d be disappointed if I don't win, to be honest. But I think everyone should feel that way, I don't think that's just me. You come here to try to win events, you're not here to try to finish in the top five.
“Sometimes you walk away from a week and you're satisfied with the top five because you haven't played that well, so you've got the best out of the week, even if you're still disappointed that you couldn't perform better. So I guess that's a benchmark, you're trying to go in there and win every event you do play.
“I'd definitely like to break the runners up duck the right way rather than the wrong way. We'll see, but I'm comfortable on this golf course and I have good memories here. I seem to play the course very well, so hopefully I can continue to do that this week.”

Graeme McDowell – “It’s my first start of the year, so I’m looking forward to it. It’s just a great place to come and start the season. I guess my thinking was that there would be sunshine and a perfect golf course and I've been certainly rewarded with both this week.
“The golf course is in phenomenal condition, and I’m looking forward to the year. I'm feeling fresh and things are certainly good in my life off the golf course, which I feel is giving me the mental space and mental energy to remotivate and refocus on my game and certainly concentrate on the next four or five years ahead and try to be the best I can be.
“I'm excited about it. I've got a great schedule this year, very similar to last year. Every tournament is very, very important to me. This one's certainly no different, and I'm here to compete and to do the job if I can.”




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