McIlroy needs to be careful with goals

2014 01 Rory Mc Ilroy

Hands up if you have broken your New Year resolutions?

If you have, you’re not alone. It is thought that the majority of folk will have already caved in and abandoned their plans to make 2014 the year they are more this or less that.

However, one man who is determined to show greater resolve than most this year is Rory McIlroy. After a torrid 2013, the Northern Irishman is out to make up for lost time over the coming season.

The newly engaged 24-year-old started this year ranked sixth on the world rankings, having been top of the pile as 2012 gave way to 2013. A wretched loss of form contrived to make last year all but a write-off for McIlroy, with victory in the Australian Open in November the sole high point to speak of.

Buoyed by that success, McIlroy is rightly excited about what 2014 might have in store and has set himself a simple goal.

"I won a major in 2011 and 2012 but not in 2013, so I'll try to make up for that with two this year,” he said.

On the one hand, you have to admire his bravado. There are very few players who could come in off the back of such a disappointing year and get away with saying that they want to win not one but two majors. Lesser players might set themselves more modest goals. But not McIlroy.
If he goes on to win two majors, great. But what if he doesn’t? Will that make his season a failure?

By coming out and revealing his targets for the year, he has proven that neither his spirit nor his confidence have been broken by the first seriously trying period of his professional career. That will stand him in good stead.

On the other hand, however, maybe Rory would have better advised to keep schtum about what he intends to do over the course of the coming season, particularly in light of how he toiled last year.

If he goes on to win two majors, great. But what if he doesn’t? Will that make his season a failure?

One of Rory’s many qualities up to now has been his honesty, his candid answers to even the most mundane questions. However, he is sometimes too honest for his own good.

A better answer to what his goals are for the year ahead would surely have been something a bit more vague or guarded. Being so specific as to say he wants two majors? That’s as good as painting a target on his back.

Here’s hoping he meets the lofty target he has set for himself. Golf could well do with an on-form Rory McIlroy, as could European Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley.

However, there is an old saying about discretion being the better part of valour. With any luck, that won’t come back to bite him where it hurts when the sun has set on the 2014 major season.

Rory McIlroy in 2014 – your thoughts

How do you think Rory McIlroy will fare in 2014? Leave your thoughts in our ‘Comments’ section below.

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