McIlroy looking to the future

Mc Ilroy

Looking beyond: McIlroy wants to switch his attention to the future after celebrating his US Open win

US Open champ seeks to draw a line under Congressional as Open looms

After the elation and celebration following his stunning victory at in the US Open at Congressional, Rory McIlroy is now looking to achieve similar success in the second half of the season.

The prodigious talent from Northern Ireland has drawn a line under his emphatic major triumph as he seeks to return to the game solely focussed on the future, with the business end of the season looming.

"It's back to business from now on... and time to forget all about my US Open victory," said McIlroy.

"The time to reflect will be at the end of the season and not half way through it. So I won't be looking over my shoulder any more, just straight ahead and concentrating on getting more wins in the second half of the year.

"It is very important that I put everything that's happened behind me now.

McIlroy did admit that it was relief to face the rest of his career relieved of the burden of winning his first major.

"It was great to win my first major and get it out of the way because it means I don't have to answer the kind of questions you get when you don't have one.

"Now I can concentrate on working as hard as I can and doing as well as I can to give myself more opportunities to win tournaments without having to think about when I'm going to win my first grand slam title.

McIlroy also replied to those who have questioned his decision not to play competitively before next week's Open Championship. Rory has foregone the opportunity to play at both the French Open and the Scottish Open this week in order to fulfil the media commitments that his victory in the US necessitated.

"Some people may have wondered why I chose to go from one major straight to another without anything in between and the answer is simple.

"Because of what happened at Congressional and the way it became such a big deal, I wanted to get everything out of the way and sorted so that when I did start playing again I could just concentrate on golf.

"If I had gone to France I just would not have been able to practice or prepare properly. Every time I play I want to go out there with a chance to win and that wouldn't have happened.

"There were so many commitments and so much media to do that I would have not been able to give my best so I decided to wait until I was absolutely ready.

"I didn't touch a club for 10 days after the US Open and then after just hitting balls on the range at home it did feel good when I finally got out on the course again. That was at Wentworth on Monday when I did a company day for Jumeirah and then I went down to Royal St. George's on Tuesday and Wednesday so that I could get a good look before too many people were there.

The 21-year-old felt the benefit of the time off, particularly his visit to Sandwich, a course the new world No.3 revealed that he enjoyed.

"The practice was great because we had one calm day and one when the wind got up so I got a great feel of what we can expect. It wasn't my first visit because I remember playing the 2005 Home Internationals there and also the British Amateur the following year. And, more important, I like the course.

"Some people think it's a bit quirky in places, but I believe it's a good test of golf. I don't think the rough will be as heavy as they'd like it, but it will still be tough.

"For me, it's quite different to a lot of the other links courses because the greens at Sandwich are quite undulating with some pretty severe slopes in places. In some cases you can't just run the ball up, you have to fly the ball all the way to the green and that's ok by me.

"It's not that it suits any particular player because the standard is such that anybody teeing up these days has a chance.

McIlroy, heralded as the figurehead of golf's new era, revealed that he regretted he would not have the opportunity to face off against the man so who has dominated the sport in modern times, Tiger Woods. The 21-year-old from Holywood also admitted that a tournament without Tiger would always prove easier to win.

"Tiger Woods won't have a chance this year because unfortunately he has not recovered from his injuries. It's always a disappointment when Tiger isn't in the field because people want to see him play and he brings so much to the game.

"On the other hand, when he isn't there it increases my and everybody else's chances, but I'd certainly prefer him to be there.

McIlroy was particularly excited about being announced onto the first tee at St George's as the US Open champion.

"Now I am ready to get back to work and I honestly don't really know what to expect at Sandwich because it will be the first time I haven't played anywhere as a major champion. I'm sure I will enjoy the experience. It will be very interesting and I'm really looking forward to it.

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