herald

Friday 15 December 2017

I'm more mature after a tough 18 months, says Rory

THREE-times Major winner Rory McIlroy hopes that he has come out of the last tumultuous 18 months a better person.

It's only eight weeks since McIlroy split with his fiancee, tennis star Caroline Wozniacki, on the eve of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth.

It was a shock move considering the wedding invitations for the upcoming nuptials had gone out in the post only the weekend previously.

However, McIlroy feels like he's come through it as a better person saying: "It's been a big 18 months, on and off the golf course, with equipment change and things in my personal life, there's been a lot of stuff going on. But a constant that has always been there has been my golf.

relaxed

"That's what I sort of just went back to, and that's my main focus and what's really important to me."

Fresh from winning his third major at the British Open Championship at Hoylake on Sunday, the 25-year old sounded happy and relaxed speaking to Sean O'Rourke on RTE yesterday morning.

After extensive focus on the upheaval in his personal life which coincided with a difficult equipment change to Nike, Rory said it was time his golfing game received a much higher level of dedication.

"There's only a limited amount of time that you have to have a career at the top level and I want to make the most of it but it's definitely been a learning process, I'm definitely more mature, not as naive and I've learnt a lot of lessons in that time and hopefully it's just made me a better person."

The thrill of winning had just about sunk in and he spoke of how he'd spent the past few nights celebrating, even drinking Jägermeister from the Claret Jug.

Yesterday he was congratulated by Northern Ireland's First and Deputy First Ministers Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness at Stormont. The Holywood golfer, however, arrived without the famous silver Claret Jug trophy, joking that it "needed cleaning after last night".

hnews@herald.ie

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