Rory McIlroy: ‘I felt like I needed to be a different person’

Rory Mc Ilroy Abu Dhabi 2

Rory McIlroy admitted he felt “pretty low” after last year’s Ryder Cup disappointment – but believes it helped get his game back on track. 

McIlroy was part of the European side which was on the receiving end of a record 19-9 beating at Whistling Straits. 

The Northern Irishman was visibly emotional in the immediate aftermath of Europe’s humbling as he spoke of letting his team-mates down.

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But now he says the aftermath of the event gave him the chance to “reassess” what he needed to do to improve for 2022. 

“That was the lowest I’ve felt for a while so I had to reassess everything then,” he said in acandid interview with HSBC recorded ahead of the Abu Dhabi Championship. 

“Since then I’ve played three tournaments and I’ve played well. I won one of them and I had a chance to win another one.

Mc Ilroy Lowry Ryder Cup

“I’m not saying the Ryder Cup was rock-bottom but you need to go pretty low to figure things out at times. I think I did that and I think I showed some great resilience after the Ryder Cup to think about what I needed to improve on or what I needed to do better.

“I put some things in place that were big improvements straight away. You’re not going to get those big improvements all the time but a couple of little simple things I did worked really well for me and those are the things I need to keep going with. 

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Last week McIlroy revealed he had abandoned his bid to gain more yards off the tee in an effort to keep up with Bryson DeChambeau. 

Hinting again at his attempts to emulate the big-hitting American, he admitted he felt like he “needed to try to be a different person” for much of last season.

But now McIlroy believes he is reaping the rewards of being comfortable in his own skin. 

“I felt like I needed to try to be a different person to improve, to try to reinvent the wheel, and I realised that’s not the right way to go about it,” he said. 

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Being yourself is okay and being yourself is good enough most of the time, especially when it comes to golf and what I’ve been able to achieve before. 

“I think it’s just about being the best version of yourself and being okay with having that individuality is a really important thing. If we were all the same people life would be pretty boring.” 

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