Rory McIlroy believes Quail Hollow win proves he was right to play on PGA Tour
Rory McIlroy believes his maiden PGA Tour victory at Quail Hollow justifies his decision to play on both the US and European Tour circuits in 2010.
The Northern Irishman was widely criticised for his decision to include both PGA and European Tour events on his schedule this year, but McIlroy believes his first US win has more than vindicated his choice.
"To get that win proved to a lot of people, probably including myself, that it was the right decision," said McIlroy, who celebrated his 21st birthday two days after his magnificent final round 62 scored him his second professional win.
"I'm excited to be back playing in Europe - it's great playing in America but it's always nice to get back home."
Now ranked No.9 in the world, McIlroy's Quail Hollow triumph made him the youngest player since Tiger Woods in 1996 to win a US PGA Tour event - earning him not only the respect of the press and fans, but also of his American colleagues on tour.
"I struggled at the start of the year and when you go over as a European and you join the tour sometimes you don't feel part of the tour until you win or you have been there for a while," said the youngster, who earned himself letters of congratulations from golf legends including Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Spain's Seve Ballesteros.
"Seve came at it from a European perspective," he added. "He said, 'it is great what you have done, especially to win in the US so early,' and he talked about the Ryder Cup and how proud he was of all the young players over here.
"It was a very touching letter and the first one I received.
"I had lunch with Jack at West Palm Beach earlier this year and he told me to be patient.
"He said, 'I told you to be patient, but that was just outrageous,' it was great!"